I truly am on an almond kick lately. After homemade almond paste, gooey chocolate almond bars and gooey almond bars last week, I thought I should post something a little healthier. Alas, it still has almonds. After today I promise I won’t post any recipes with almonds for at least a day or two.
As with a lot of home cooking, I am amazed how just a few ingredients can undergo such a transformation into something sublime. The fish goes together in no time, bakes in about the time rice or quinoa takes to cook and combines both fish and nuts – health foods in just about any book. You can easily adjust the amounts to serve any number of people.
Our grocery store carries frozen tilapia “loins.” That makes us laugh every time we read the package. Fish don’t have legs, so how can they have loins? But, whatever they call them, the loins/filets are the best quality fish we have found in a long time, so we buy them.
Living in the Midwest, we usually rely on frozen fish to eliminate any question about freshness. And it is convenient to always have a stash in the freezer. I thaw it overnight in the fridge, if I plan ahead. I have been known to cook the filets directly from the freezer, if I have somehow forgotten to thaw them (brain freeze?), and they turn out beautifully. An extra ten to fifteen minutes in the oven and they are perfect.
We had our fish with corn and browned butter and a mix of white and red quinoa. It was kind of a monochromatic plate – I should have added broccoli or a green salad for some color. And an almond bar or two for dessert wouldn’t have been at all bad.
Tilapia with Toasted Almonds
From The Cook’s Life
Tilapia filets or loins (one per person)
Olive oil (1 teaspoon per filet)
Chopped almonds (about 1 tablespoon per filet)
Additional chopped almonds for serving, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a dish or pan large enough to hold all the fish in one layer, without crowding them. Drizzle each filet with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top each filet with about a tablespoon of almonds. Bake fish, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork and the thinner ends are just starting to turn golden. Serve immediately, with extra almonds, if desired.