Tilapia is an ideal fish for heavy flavors such as garlic, lemon, or olive. It soaks up other cooking flavors and has a buttery texture and mellow flavor on its own. It holds breading well, and pan sears in just a few minutes.
While the dish may sound complicated, it's a breeze to cook. First, the fillets are dipped in Parmesan breading and added to a hot saute pan. Once the fillets are browned on each side, a scoop of fresh diced tomatoes, olives and feta top the fish. With a quick sprinkle of parsley and a touch of lemon butter, the fillets are ready to serve.
Mediterranean Pan-Seared Tilapia
Active Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Cook Time: 5 to 10 minutes
2 large tilapia fillets
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
4 green olives, sliced
4 kalamata olives, sliced
2 tablespoons feta cheese
2 teaspoons butter
1 lemon, sliced
1 tablespoon Italian (flat leaf) parsley, chopped
1 cutting board
2 large bowls
2 small bowls
1 can opener (optional)
1 saute pan
1. Finely diced 3/4 cup of tomatoes, if using fresh. If using canned, drain the tomatoes. Slice the olives into thin slices. Mix the tomatoes and olives in a small bowl. Add two tablespoons of feta cheese to the other small bowl. Set the bowls to the side of your stove.
2. Combine the flour, Parmesan cheese, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Beat the egg with one tablespoon of water in the other large bowl.
3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in the saute pan on medium high heat. Meanwhile, dip each fillet in the egg wash, and coat lightly in the Parmesan breading.
4. When the oil is hot, add the fillets. Cook for three to four minutes on each side, until golden.
5. When both sides of the fish are golden brown, top each fillet with a sprinkling of feta cheese. Then, add a large scoop of the tomatoes and olives.
6. Turn the heat off and move the saute pan to a cold burner. When the feta begins to melt on the fish, squeeze each lemon half and add the butter. Push the fillets around to soak up the lemon butter, and plate immediately.
7. Top each plated fillet with a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley.