Vanilla pistachio tilapia…try saying that ten times fast! Or try making it four times like I did just to get this recipe right. I’ve never been more determined with a recipe than I was with this one. This used to be served at one of our favorite restaurants and they replaced it with swordfish. It’s still good but just not the same without the tilapia. So, of course, I tried recreating it so I could still enjoy it along with all of you! I know you’re probably thinking “vanilla with fish?” but the sweetness of the vanilla is played right along with the saltiness of the pistachios. It’s not like you’re eating a vanilla frosting with the fish…that’s just wrong.
Now, the reason it took me four tries with this recipe is because I kept burning the pistachios. You gotta keep a close eye on it, but I promise it’s worth it. God speed!
2 tilapia filets
2 cups pistachios
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Set your broiler to low and grease a baking sheet. Pat the tilapia dry and lightly brush the olive oil onto both sides. In a food processor or small blender, pulse the pistachios and vanilla extract together in to small bits, almost to a powder. You can also hand crush the pistachios by placing them in a plastic bag and crushing them with a mallet. (We need to get our anger out somehow…). Once combined, roll the tilapia in the pistachio mixture and place on the greased baking sheet. Cook the tilapia on the bottom shelf of your oven for 8 minutes. Turn the broiler off and keep the oven door shut for the next 5 minutes. As I mentioned earlier, keep a careful eye on it though, you don’t want it to burn.
Doctors say in order to keep your cholesterol in check, one should maintain a diet of proteins that either fly or swim. That means no red meat (get it: cows graze whereas fish swims, turkey flies). This is a healthier way of living and will still get you the nutrients of non-vegetarian food (aka the good protein intake). Since I have already shared a salmon recipe, I figured a nice tilapia is just what I needed. This will help to keep us all in our trim, spring break mind set, while still enjoying what we eat. No thanks on the tofu, even if it is deep fried (that’s right Chinese take out, I am talking to you. Don’t act like we don’t all see it there stuffed under our lo mein. No, not that any of us are eating lo mein. Healthy eating…must stay on topic…on diet…flies and swims).
1.5 tsp. Lemon Pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1.5 tsp. garlic (granulated)
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dried dill (if you don’t like dill, dried basil could work)
1.5 tsp. minced onion (I did the bottle stuff on this as well)
3 Tablespoons olive oil (I feel like 2 is enough, but eye ball it)
6 Tilapia Fillets
2.5 Tablespoons lime juice (real stuff if you can)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F In the meantime, combine the dry spices with olive oil and create a paste. Set aside. Foil the baking sheet and lay out tilapia fillets. Coat the fish with the lime juice and paste. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops look golden brown. Enjoy! (oh and, think “swims” next time you need a dinner idea. Swims = swimsuit, eat healthy, eat more fish. Preaching over, the end).