Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Tilapia & Zucchini Packets with Olive Tapenade

Now, I want to preface this post to say that I know the picture above may not appear to be the prettiest food item you've ever seen.  But I'm asking you to please not judge this dish based on my {lack of} photography skills or the fact that no one, not even the magical people at the Food Network, can make olive tapenade look pretty. 

Some dishes just aren't that pretty no matter how you serve it up ... and that's OK.  Not every dish can be beautiful but they can still be amazing to eat.  (The same can be said about my Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff.)  While both dishes get points for amazing flavour, sadly sometimes the best tasting foods aren't necessarily the most appetizing to the eye.  They are the Ugly Ducklings of the dinner table.

But we're not going to berate this dish for not being pretty because this tilapia/zucchini/tapenade combo was ahhhmazing! So light, pretty darn good for you and a meal that you get to open like it's a gift!  Who doesn't like to open up a gift full of fish and zucchini??  No one, that's .... ok, so it's no blue gift box from Tiffany's but I assure you that it tastes a billion times better than eating a blue gift box from Tiffany's.  So there is that.

This was an easy dish to whip up because I ran out of time and cheated made an executive decision to use a store-bought olive tapenade.  If you'd prefer to whip up your own homemade olive tapenade have at 'er.  I tip my hat to you.  Unfortunately Brad and I were low on time and patience so we opted for the easier route as I was dangerously edging into a Hangry state of mind -- a state that Brad has learned in our 16 years of marriage to bypass at all costs.  Smart man. 

Baking Bookworm's Definition of the term: Hangry
The combination of extreme hunger and anger
culminating in a nasty attitude, raging sarcasm and
irritability which can only be sated with food.
So before you and/or yours are verging on a Hangry state of mind you may want to take a run out to the food store and pick up the necessary items and keep them on hand to make this dish for emergency Hangry situations.  Ain't nobody got time to be Hangry!
Tilapia and Zucchini Packets with Olive Tapenade
Serves: 4

1 large zucchini (sliced length-wise into 1/8" thick strips) -- approx. 2 to 3 strips/fillet
1/2 lb (4) tilapia fillets (I used frozen fillets)
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp black olive tapenade (I used President's Choice brand)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed), finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
to taste - black pepper

Preheat oven or BBQ to 400F.

Grease 4 pieces of aluminum foil (ensuring that the foil is large enough to fold into a packet to enclose the fish).  Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the olive tapenade, sun-dried tomatoes and the minced garlic clove. 

Lay a couple of zucchini slices in the middle of each piece of greased foil.  Place a fish fillet over the zucchini and top the fish with one quarter of the tapenade.  Sprinkle with fresh pepper, if desired.  Repeat for the remaining three packets.

Combine the fresh lemon juice and olive oil.  Drizzle the lemon juice mixture over the tapenade on each fish fillet.  Fold the foil over the fish and seal the edges securely (I triple folded the edges).

Bake (or grill) for 20 minutes or until fish is flaky.  Using a spatula, gently lift the zucchini and fish off the foil and serve immediately.

Need some ideas for a great side dish for this tilapia?  Try one of these!
Parmesan Basil Orzo
Roasted Greek Lemon Potatoes
Mediterranean Beans
Balsamic Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

This recipe was inspired by: Proud Italian Cook's "Olive Crusted Cod in Foil"

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