Tilapia Puttanesca with Tomato Cucumber Salad and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Tilapia Puttanesca

Today’s recipe is one of my all time favorites. I love the flavors, but I also love the fact that this dish comes together in 15 min or so; making it perfect for a quick and healthy lunch or dinner. Don’t tell anyone, but I also love the fact that puttanesca literally means whore. (Eh, I’m easily entertained. What can I say?).

I make a pretty traditional sauce that consists of tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, and onion, but you make what you and your family will like. This sauce is great to serve over pasta, chicken, scooped up with some crusty bread, etc.

Here’s what you’ll need to cook with me:

Tilapia Puttanesca

  • 2 tilapia fillets, any white fish will work just fine
  • 1 c. diced tomato, fresh preferred, but canned is fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. evoo
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. capers
  • 1/8 c. kalamatta olives, pitted and sliced (any olive will work just fine)

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. evoo
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar, optional
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Tomato & Cucumber Salad

  • .5 c. tomato, diced
  • .5 c. cucumber, diced or wedged
  • fresh basil to taste
  • Parmesan cheese -optional, but why not?
Tomato & Cucumber Salad
Tomato & Cucumber Salad

The first thing you want to do is make your vinaigrette so the flavors have time to meld together while you’re working on everything else. In a bowl whisk together evoo, balsamic, garlic, salt, and brown sugar until combined. Set aside for later. You can can go ahead and add your diced tomatoes and cucumbers if you want them to absorb the dressing, but I like to keep my cucumber crunchy so I don’t add them in until later.

In a small skillet, sautee garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes for 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat. Add in dice tomatoes, turn heat up to medium and let simmer until tomatoes start to break down and form a creamy sauce, approximately 3-4 minutes.

Tilapia Puttanesca
Tilapia Puttanesca

While your sauce is cooking, prepare your fish. Season with a little s&p, then saute in evoo a couple of minutes per side. This is also the time I like to dress the salad with the vinaigrette.

Add capers and olives to sauce and simmer another 2 minutes. If your sauce becomes to thick add a little water to thin it out. Remove from heat and stir in butter.

That’s it, you’re done!

Plate your fish, spoon that delicious sauce over the top, and pair with your crisp, cool salad. Sprinkle everything with some freshly chiffonade of basil and enjoy!