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Tilapia with Lemon and Anchovies

May 26, 2010

I know what you’re thinking:

“ANCHOVIES?! Despicable!!”

I used to think the same thing, before I realized that anchovies, or anchovy paste, is the main ingredient of many of my favorite things. Particularly Mediterranean dishes, more particularly Caesar salad, and strangely enough even Worcestershire sauce. And before a (blasphemous) picky eater shrieks in horror and vows never to eat a creamy Caesar or moist burger again I beg you, its really not all bad.

Actually, its all good. Anchovies have amazing flavor like you will find nowhere else. They are small, easy to use, and are high in Omega 3s. They are inexpensive. They go well with so many things, from salads to seafood. If you are eating a seafood dish and thinking to yourself “What is in this amazing sauce?” I’d bet you there are anchovies somewhere. Or in that amazing tapanade.

Anchovies are important to use up fairly quickly because they become too fishy after being open for too long. Since I had an open tin leftover from last night I wanted to do something completely different, fresh with capers and lemon, a spring meal that made me want to be on a beach in Greece admiring the view.

Tilapia with Lemon and Anchovies (adapted from Jamie Oliver)

2 tilapia fillets

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

8 thin slices of lemon

2 tablespoons capers

4 anchovy fillets

1 bunch kale

Preheat the oven to 400*

Put the tilapia fillets in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix together the olive oil and parsley and mush into a paste. Spread on top of the fish.

Lay 4 slices of lemon and 2 anchovies on each fillet and sprinkle with capers. Bake for 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.

While the fish is cooking, remove the stems from the kale and saute in some olive oil and salt until wilted.

Serve the fish atop the kale with a squeeze of lemon juice.

I ate this meal with our back door open, enjoying the breeze and the view of the back of the stores behind our building. One day it will be Greece, but for now the food is just as satisfying.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 26, 2010 10:53 pm

    great job on making anchioves look good!

  2. May 27, 2010 7:47 am

    Amazing. I love anchovies!

  3. May 27, 2010 8:13 am

    Fish with anchovies is so good! I know it sounds redundant, but anchovies give fish a slightly fishy, slightly salty taste.

    This looks good!

  4. May 27, 2010 8:27 am

    you know, i’ve tried anchovy paste and wasn’t a huge fan, but it’s still in my fridge so i should give it another go! and i have some lemons to use…

  5. May 27, 2010 12:46 pm

    I used to think the same thing about anchovies, until I actually ate them. Yeah..I totally based my opinion off of everyone elses. I love how they get an almost nutty salty flavor when sauteed.

  6. May 27, 2010 3:18 pm

    I think I want to try anchovies! I’ve never said that before, but I’m on a vitamin D kick lately and I want in on some good sources to avoid supplementation!

  7. May 27, 2010 8:53 pm

    I love anchovies! I bet they added terrific flavor. This is so fresh and delicious!

  8. May 27, 2010 9:28 pm

    Yeah, love it or hate it, anchovies pop up in the darndest places. I remember being horrified when I learned they were in Caesar dressing. Oh well, as long as it tastes good! Nice recipe. 🙂

  9. June 15, 2010 4:55 am

    I’m a big anchovy fan… have a look at my last two posts…

  10. January 3, 2016 8:24 pm

    Took it a step further – I am an anchovy fan, but some may think of them as too “fishy” – they aren’t if treated properly. I mushed up the anchovies in the olive oil in a mortar an pestle and lightly sautéed the mixture. The anchovies virtually “melt”, but infuse the flavour to the oil. While the mixture was on the heat, I mashed the capers lightly in the same mortar & pestle and added them to the mixture on the heat for 30 seconds or so. Poured the heated mixture back into the mortar, let it cool a bit, and added the parsley . . . . from there, followed the recipe (excluding salt, as the anchovy mixture is salty enough). . . . . . FANTASTIC!!!

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