Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mediterranean-Style Baked Tilapia over Sauteed Baby Spinach

My family, covering 4 generations, blew into town for a Sunday overnight visit this last weekend. Since they're forever eating out, I thought it'd be nice to host dinner at our house. We had a really great time and dinner came together in a flash...due to all (and I mean ALL) the prep having been done the night before and morning of. I shopped my blog for ideas in the menu department and decided on making the Greek pinwheel steaks, chile-spiced asparagus, mashed potatoes, and a big green salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Strawberry crisps with vanilla ice cream for dessert all around!
Let me just say this...I may have over-shopped a bit. I'm left with a huge bag of spinach, lots of tomatoes on the vine, an extra block of feta cheese and a goodly number of pine nuts (unfortunately no more strawberries!) and an open bottle of white wine. All these ingredients will be put towards concocting a baked tilapia over spinach dish tonight. We'll see how it comes out...although I can't imagine it'd be TOO terrible. :-) I had some brown rice left from another meal, so that's getting eht up too, tossed with some diced, sauteed zukes.

Ok, the rice was too good not to write up a quasi recipe. Don't wanna forget this as a great use for leftover rice!
This whole meal turned out to be a real keeper for us.

Zucchini and Garlic Fried Rice:

olive oil
pat of butter
2 small zucchini, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
cold cooked brown rice
salt and pepper

Warm a non-stick skillet over high heat. Melt butter in olive oil and let it get really hot.
Add diced zukes and toss with salt. Try not to stir it too much at first so that it has a chance to caramelize. When about 2 minutes from done, add garlic and continue to saute for ~1-2 min.
Add a little more olive oil to pan and then add rice. Toss to coat the rice and then spread it out in a level layer in pan. Let it cook undisturbed for a few minutes, stir then re-level the rice leaving undisturbed for another minute or so. You'll want the garlic to caramelize but not burn...it adds a ton of good flavor. Taste to see if it needs more salt and add pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm until the rest of the meal is ready.

Mediterranean-Style Baked Tilapia:

1 lb of natural tilapia fillets, or other lean white fish (our 2 fillets came to just under a lb.)
thinly sliced red onion
thinly sliced red pepper
1 chopped tomato
~2-3 oz of crumbled feta
fresh basil
salt and pepper
olive oil
~1/4-1/2 cup white wine
garnish with some chopped Italian parsley if you've got it

Pre-heat oven to 450. Oil a baking dish. Season the fillets with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice, and arrange in one layer in the baking dish.
On top of fillets, layer very thin slices of red onion, and red (or green) pepper. Sprinkle the fillets with 1 chopped tomato and 2-3 oz of crumbled feta, then top with basil. Pour white wine around fillets, drizzle with olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper and more salt.

Here it is before going into the oven...I promise there IS fish under all that goodness!

Bake uncovered for about 15-19 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. I checked our 8oz fillets at 15 but they took about 18-19.
About 4 minutes before your fish is done, start the spinach.

Wilted Spinach with Garlic and Pine Nuts:

olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 package baby spinach
salt and pepper
1-2 Tbs of pine nuts

In a large skillet, heat about 2 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add minced garlic and saute until it becomes golden...don't burn it.
Add pine nuts and let them start to color slightly. Add spinach, some kosher salt, pepper and toss to wilt. Serve fish over your lovely spinach and done! Make sure to spoon the cooking liquid over the fish too. It's really good!


Anonymous said...

Hi Erin,
We had dinner at your mother's to celebrate Dorothy's birthday and we had the Mediterranean Fish.
We loved it and I plan to make it soon. I really enjoy your blog and find it inspirational.
See you soon?

Erndog said...

So glad you liked it Rury! I think I'll be down when Susan comes to visit...gotta see that new kitten. :-) I'd love to see you too!