You know I’m always trying to jazz up our fish and this was no exception. It was a Tuesday night and I was riding home ‘the better way‘ and trying to figure out what the heck to do with the fish we pulled out of the deep freeze and then it hit me — Grilled Tilapia with Basil Pesto. The pesto would also allow the opportunity to utilize the gorgeous basil growing like weeds on the back deck (I may have planted a few too many plants!).
Tilapia is a firm white fish that is great grilled as long as you don’t over cook it, then it falls apart! I added a bit of hot chili pepper flakes to the top for colour and a bit of punch. It depends if you like heat, like I do. Plus it’s a nice bite with the creamy pesto. I make a classic pesto, but I’m sure you’ve made yours a gazillion times so feel free to improvise, this is, after all for inspiration. Reserve the left over pesto for the dressing for the greens and you’ll notice that I’ve added a little something to make it more like dressing (make sure the spoon you use to spread the pesto on the fish is never put back into the reserved pesto).
Grilled Tilapia with Basil Pesto
- 400 g Tilapia
- 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) packed fresh, washed basil leaves
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) EVOO
- 2 small cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- red chili pepper flakes
- arugula greens
- Add basil leaves, Parmesan, pine nuts, salt and garlic to your food processor or immersion blender and blend until you achieve the desired consistency.
- Dry the tilapia and spoon 1-2 tbsp of the pesto per side per fish and spread evenly.
- Heat your grill to 177°C (350°F), spray with non-stick spray. Lay the thickest parts down first as they will take the longest to cook. Cook until the fish is firm to the touch. Repeat with the thinner bits.
- For the dressing, add the white balsamic to the left-over pesto and stir well.
- Serve over arugula greens and garnish with the dressing and red pepper flakes