We're in it. It's full-on Summer now. I'm even wearing shorts, and I hate wearing shorts. But, it's what you have to do in the Summer, and folks, it's Summer.
I loving every minute of it so far. I'm doing a lot of stoop-sitting until the sun goes down, which is gloriously late. I'm doing some indoor grilling on my 35 pound (new) cast iron grill pan. I'm taking leisurely walks with my sunglasses on. I'm driving to the beach on the weekends with my camera and my sandals. I'm eating a lot of fresh, simple food that celebrates the flavors of Summer.
I'm doing it all! You should too.
This simple tilapia dish is packed-full of fresh Summer flavor, and only requires one pan and a couple sheets of foil. It's the perfect Summer dinner.
Start by cutting up a bunch of vegetables.
Jalapenos, bell pepper, tomato, and two ears of corn, to be exact.
Line a baking sheet with two overlapping sheets of foil and add all the vegetables, tossing them all together well. Add a couple of cloves of smashed garlic, then season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice.
This is enough vegetables for about 3 or 4 servings of fish, so if you are making more than one, split it up evenly between foil packets.
Next, roughly chop about 1/2 a cup of cilantro and throw it on top of the vegetables. Now place a filet of tilapia on top of the cilantro.
Season the fish with salt and pepper. Take the other half of that lime and slice it into thin rings, then place the lime rings on top of the fish.
Throw the other half of the lime in there for good measure. It's all going to be wrapped up, anyway! Take the two long sides of the foil sheets and bring them together. Fold the foil down to create a long tube of foil. Then take the ends and fold them towards the center, creating a foil packet.
Put that in the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the fish is opaque throughout and easily flakes with a fork. I ended up having to cook mine much longer because of all the vegetables on the bottom, but if you're making this for more than one person, and will have less vegetables underneath, 35-40 minutes should be fine.
When it's done, take it out of the oven and carefully open the foil packet.
It's going to smell amazing. Discard the large lime half and the smashed cloves of garlic--they were just there for flavor. You can leave the lime slices because they look pretty on the plate. I served mine with refried black beans with a little feta on top, a la this recipe, and some steamed rice. The vegetable salsa goes on top of the fish, and as I had a lot of vegetable salsa, I served mine with a lot on top.
Isn't that a pretty, festive, Summery plate? It smelled amazing, and tasted even better. The tender, flaky fish took on the flavors of the lime and cilantro, and the corn is something I'm still thinking about.
Tell me, is there anything better than fresh, Summer corn? I don't think there is. It's unbelievably sweet and crunchy and I want some right now. It's the perfect addition to any Summer meal.
These are the things Summer was made for: easy, simple recipes that showcase the freshness of the ingredients. It's healthy, it's flavorful, and it's so very delicious.
Here's the recipe!
Baked Tilapia with Corn Salsa (Vegetables serve 4, add one Tilapia filet per serving)
- 2 jalapenos, diced
- 1 bell pepper (I like the red ones the best), diced
- 1 tomato (or two, if using Roma), diced
- 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (less if desired)
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for fish
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for fish
- 1 lime
- 1 tilapia filet (per packet)
- 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with two sheets of foil, overlapping. Set aside.
- Toss all vegetables together and season with cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, and the juice of half the lime. Add vegetables to the center of the sheets of foil. Add chopped cilantro and place filet of Tilapia on top of the cilantro. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then top with slices of lime from the other half of the lime.
- Fold the two longest ends of the foil together to meet in the center above the tilapia. Fold the ends together so it forms a long foil tube. Take the ends of the tube and fold them towards the center to create a tight packet.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, depending on how many servings you are making. You may have to cook it more, as I did. The tilapia is finished when it is completely opaque and can be easily flaked with a fork.
- Serve with rice and beans, or some warmed, toasted corn tortillas and avocado slices.