I got some tilapia on sale at the market the other day and was looking for a new way to cook it without frying. I came across this recipe on the Food Network and it fit perfectly. I already have everything in the house, which made it even easier. It’s a very quick recipe and goes perfectly at this time year when tomatoes are ripe and tasting great.
Baked Tilapia with Tomato and Basil
Non-stick cooking spray
2 (8 ounce) tilapia fillets
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a shallow baking dish with the nonstick cooking spray.
Sprinkle the fish evenly with salt and pepper. Arrange the tilapia in a baking dish and sprinkle evenly with basil, oregano, onion powder and garlic. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Arrange the tomato slices evenly over the fish and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 to 25 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fish and serve immediately.
The fish turned out perfectly and the flavor from the tomatoes mixed very well with the fish and the spices on the fish. As side dishes, I made corn on the cob and I decided to make some black beans and rice. The black beans and rice could easily be a meal on its own if you wanted it to be. It’s not a tough recipe and takes a little longer, but you can make it ahead and re-heat it if necessary.
Black Beans with Rice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red or yellow pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup dried black beans, washed, picked over and soaked if you have the time
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
1 cup chopped tomato
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Put th oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low so that the mixture bubbles gently. Cover loosely and cook, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary, until the beans are about half-done, softening but still tough in the middle, about 40 minutes (if you didn’t soak the beans, it will take about an hour or more) Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Use an immersion blender or a potato masher to semi-puree the beans in the pot. Leave at least half unpureed.
Stir in the rice, tomato and a good amount of salt and pepper. If you don’t want a crust to develop, cover the pot. Bake in the oven until the rice and beans are tender, about an hour, adding a little water if needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with parsley and serve or store, covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If storing, when you re-heat, stir in a little water and olive oil just before serving.
As I said, the black beans and rice could easily be a meal as themselves. You could eat it this way as a vegetarian meal or you could add in things like chorizo, some diced cooked chicken or some shrimp.
All in all, it was a very nice meal for the two of us.For tomorrow, I do have some chicken that I am not sure what to do with yet. Check back and see what I can find. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!