Yesterday I took home a wonderful cheese I had never had before. I got it at a store where the owners know their products and how to match your tastes with a selection of cheese. I took it home with a loaf of bread from the French bakery down the road.
Along with a glass of wine and simple mixed salad of 4 lettuces, small multicolored sweet peppers, mushrooms, tomato and good extra virgin olive oil and Modena balsamic vinegar, called it dinner.
It brought me back to Riomaggiore, where my husband and I stayed 2 days last year. After traveling around Italy, eating in restaurants (not that i am complaining about this at all), we wanted a simple dinner. Since we had a kitchenette and a view to die for, we tossed up some fresh pasta with pesto, a specialty of the region, with a fresh salad and grated parmesan reggiano, bread and of course wine. We sat and watched the sun set, living “la dolce vita” with the simplest of meals. I never felt so at peace. So last night evoked this memory, but without a view of the Mediterranean. I had to settle for the golf course out the back window.
Ready for the oven
What a meal it was last night! I never practice my menu before subjecting my friends to my experiments, nor do I do a lot of tasting as I cook. I feel that if you use good ingredients, you can’t go that wrong! Fortunately, my worst outcomes are always palatable, if not just right. This dish is a winner and versatile enough to use on other kinds of fish. With tilapia being a reasonably-priced and sustainable variety however, this recipe is sure to make every fish eater and host happy. This recipe serves 6.
6 pieces of tilapia fillets, cut down the center
6 scallion stalks, blanched
Pesto (use my recipe in the last post, but halve the olive oil to 1/4 cup for a pastier consistency)
Method: Lightly oil the bottom of a baking dish. Place the scallion pieces horizontally under each fillet Put the wider halves of the fillets in the baking dish Spread a 1.5 inch “strip” of pesto down the center lengthwise. Top with the narrower half of the fillet. “Tie” the scallion around the bundles. If they are a bit short or too brittle, use a toothpick to hold the scallion tie through cooking and remove prior to serving. Sprinkle with paprika for color.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve with roasted tomatoes and a grain.