Yum. Every time I see this picture, be it 10 in the morning or 10 at night, I immediately want to make this dish again. Everything about the flavors melded well together, from the delicate fish with its crisp crust and the browned, slightly salted okra that popped in your mouth to the sweet and tart citrus vinaigrette that topped everything off.

Okra may just be leaving the farmer’s markets and grocery stores but I had to post this recipe before its season was over completely. This meal is very simple to make and even if you think you don’t like okra, give it a shot! It had been a long time since I had it but I could not get enough after one bite. The key is to get fresh okra — though I believe frozen okra would work here, too — and to sear it with a bit of canola oil, salt and pepper. Yum.

The dish was adapted from a post by Lisa is Cooking, who got it from Eric Ribert’s A Return to Cooking cookbook. I could not find mahi-mahi, so I used tilapia (I know, a far cry from mahi-mahi, but the end result was delicious anyway) and I guessed on the citrus dressing. I also placed everything on top of a bed of fresh mixed greens.

Sauteed Tilapia and Okra with Citrus Vinaigrette
Adapted from Lisa is Cooking
serves 4

canola oil
4 fresh tilapia fillets
salt, pepper, cumin
1 lb fresh okra, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 medium tomatoes
1 tbsp dijon mustard (I used spicy brown, it’s what I had)
1 tbsp sherry vinegar (I used red wine vinegar, it’s what I had)
1 lime, zest and juice of
1 lemon, zest and juice of
1/2 orange, zest and juice of
1 shallot, chopped finely
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
3-4 tbsp canola oil
fresh mixed greens

Season both sides of tilapia fillets with salt, pepper and cumin. Heat large non-stick pan with 2-3 tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat. Saute fillets a few minutes on each side, taking care not to overcook. Make sure the pan and oil is hot enough so that a nice crisp layer forms on the outside of the fillet.

In another non-stick pan, heat up 1-2 tbsp canola oil over medium heat and saute okra until both sides are lightly browned. Season with salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Dice and seed two tomatoes, set aside. Zest and juice lime, lemon and half an orange and place contents in bowl with mustard and vinegar. Add chopped shallot, minced ginger. Whisk in a few tablespoons of canola oil. Note: you can make the citrus dressing ahead of time and keep in fridge until ready. Before plating, add chopped tomatoes to the dressing and spoon over lettuce greens, okra and tilapia.

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