Red Pepper Pesto Crusted Tilapia

My dream job would be to host my own show on Food Network. I know I have a long way to go and it’s something that will most likely never happen, but hey, that’s why it’s called a dream job.

Every year I watch Next Food Network Star. Spoiler Alert – I am very excited for this summer’s winner, Damaris, and her show this fall but I was drawn to Nikki Dinki from day one. This recipe, is one of hers. It’s very quick and simple to prepare and tastes incredible. I do not like Greek yogurt – I am not on the bandwagon – but I didn’t want to stray from Nikki’s recipe (I did have to switch the fish based on local availability though) so I gave it another shot. The Greek yogurt complimented the red pepper pesto perfectly. Mixing the panko with the pesto also provided a beautiful crust on top of the fish. I promise you this is a new staple in my kitchen.

Pesto Crusted Fish

Red Pepper Pesto Crusted Tilapia

Ingredients:

  • 2 roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 C pine nuts
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 C parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 4 4oz tilapia filets
  • 1 C panko
  • 4 tbsp Greek yogurt

Steps:

  1. Make pesto: combine peppers, nuts, thyme, garlic, shallot, cheese, and olive oil in a food processor.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Season fish with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tbsp of yogurt on each filet.
  4. Mix 1/2 C pesto from step 1 with the bread crumbs. (Or you could use store bought jarred red pepper pesto instead) Press onto each filet. Bake 20 minutes on a foil lined baking sheet.

*Both recipes are adapted from Nikki at http://www.nikkidinkicooking.com/home/red-pepper-pesto.html and http://www.nikkidinkicooking.com/home/pesto-crusted-halibut-grape-risotto.html*

Red Pepper Pesto Crusted Tilapia

Tuna Steaks

There were some pretty looking tuna steaks at the fish counter, so we bought two. I know it doesn’t sound crazy adventurous – buying tuna instead of say, squid. But I’d never prepared tuna steaks before. When it comes to fish, I usually stick with salmon or tilapia. I absolutely love grouper and mahi mahi, but I’ve never prepared my own.

Tuna SteaksI seasoned the fish with plenty of pepper, salt, and dried herbs and cooked them in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Spritzed with fresh lemon juice and provided pesto (I used my Nut-Free Basil Pesto) for dipping.

An Original Recipe

Tuna Steaks

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tuna steaks
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

Steps

  1. Combine herbs, salt and pepper. Rub onto both sides of the fish.
  2. Sear fish over medium heat in olive oil. Cook to desired done-ness.

Tuna Steaks 1 Tuna Steaks 3Tuna Steaks 2

Nut-Free Basil Pesto

When I found a recipe that called for pesto I opted to make my own instead of buying it. So I scoured the internet and happened upon this recipe for Nut-Free pesto. My father has a nut-allergy so I found this to be an exciting discovery.

Even though I wasn’t cooking for anyone with a nut-allergy that night, it’s nice to know that these meatballs can be prepared anytime we’re hosting company.

Nut-Free Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 4 C spinach
  • 2 C basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 C parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 C + 1 tbsp olive oil

Steps

  1. Puree all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor.
  2. While the machine is running, stream in the olive oil.

*This recipe is from Maria and Josh at http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/spinach-basil-pesto/*

Nut-Free Basil Pest

I used this pesto in mini meatballs – ground turkey, pesto, panko breadcrumbs – on top of linguine pasta with jarred marinara sauce for a quick dinner that still tasted from scratch.Turkey Pesto Meatballs