Tilapia is a great fish if you're cooking for a mixed group; it is tender and flakey enough for fish-lovers, yet mild enough that non-fish-lovers definitely enjoy it too. Tilapia is a very mild white fish and doesn't taste 'fishy' at all. It is usually a great one for beginners.
Parmesan cheese has a strong sharp flavor that is perfect for flavoring this mild filet of fish. The paprika and parsley are more for color and visual appeal than for flavor. Interestingly enough though, dried parsley is a surprising nutritious source of lycopene- the antioxidant most well known as one of the great health components of tomatoes. (Which reminds me that I also served these tasty filets with roasted tomatoes -another post where I discuss lycopene in more detail).
I accompanied this tilapia with creamy risotto and roasted tomatoes. If you have all your ingredients ready to go, you can make this entire meal in 30 minutes start to finish. We'll start with the fish...
Recipe (makes 4 tilapia filets):
- Four 4 oz. Tilapia filets
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground Paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Parsley
- a couple shakes of ground Black Pepper
- Olive Oil
Mix the parmesan, paprika, parsley, and pepper in a dish.
Gently pat the fish filets dry with a paper towel, and drizzle with some olive oil.
Sprinkle the parm-mixture evenly over each of the filets, gently pressing it into the olive oil on each side -especially on the top :)
Lay the filets on the olive-oiled-foil ...trust me, do not skip the olive oil here! Fish is tender and flakey and it would be terrible if your beautiful filets fell to pieces because they stuck to the foil while trying to get them off.
Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes or until the parmesan topping is golden and the fish is cooked through.
They are GORGEOUS, HEALTHY and DELICIOUS. And SO easy! Who knew!?