Back to the Mediterranean with this fish dish! So simple and quick to prepare. Tilapia is abundant and so mildly flavored but it is a little fragile (like sole, because the filets are thin) so you can’t toss it around as you would halibut or swordfish. (Yes, you can grill it but you should use a grill basket or gill net so it doesn’t fall through the grate.)
If you’re lucky enough to have a whole tilapia, you can still make this – it will take longer to cook it whole and you will need a little more oil for each side. You can also remove the center spine and its bones but watch out for those little ones if you have a whole one or a half!
You can use any kind of mushrooms for this – even chop up a Portabello or use the baby Portabellos, you can slice or quarter them….however you choose. But do use fresh ‘shrooms….they have a better flavor and texture. Save the canned ones for casseroles!
Tilapia with Mushrooms, Olives & Tomatoes
- 4 tsp olive oil, divided
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic (approx 3 garlic cloves)
- 16 oz. mushrooms, sliced (white or brown)
- 1/2 c pitted olives, sliced (green and / or black, your choice)
- 2 c halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
- 4 slices tilapia, rinsed and patted dry
- salt & pepper to taste
In a large non-stick (or well sprayed) skillet over medium, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté until golden, about 8 – 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Don’t let the garlic burn. Still over medium head, add olives tomatoes and herbs, stirring for another 2-3 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove the vegetables from the heat and keep warm.
Season the tilapia on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Be careful as tilapia is somewhat fragile so handle it gently. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil and let it heat about 30 seconds. Place the seasoned fish in the skillet and cook about 3 minutes until the bottom is nicely browned; gently turn and cook the other side about 2-3 minutes until golden brown and the fish flakes easily. Return the vegetables to the skillet to rewarm.
Serve the tilapia with most of the herbed vegetables around and a little over the fish itself.