So sue me, my first fish recipe comes too late for Lent. But I think this tilapia and asparagus dinner is delicious any time of year.
The recipes come from my mom, and as far as I know she doesn’t necessarily make them together; they just happen to combine the same flavor base that make them work well together. They also just happen to combine some of the best flavors out there — garlic, cayenne, butter, and olive oil. That’s right, two kinds of fat. Yummy!
Mom gave me the tilapia recipe when I was first starting out to cook. Frozen tilapia isn’t overly expensive, it keeps, and this makes for an easy meal when you’re just starting to learn to cook. The asparagus recipe is a long time favorite, as it combines the above flavors with a good deep roasting that makes them impossible to resist. If I ever have any extra asparagus lying around, which is rare, this is how I make ‘em. So, it seemed obvious to combine them into one simple and healthy-ish meal.
Just add some stove-top grain dish, and you’ve got a full meal that tastes great.
Here’s what I did:
- 4 fillets tilapia (fresh is best but costly)
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 4 T. butter, divided
- 4 T. olive oil, divided
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced, divided (I was lazy and used the jarred stuff but whatever works)
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- Salt, optional (I used salted butter so skipped it, but you may want to add more or definitely add some if you use unsalted butter)
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove woody ends of asparagus, and spread out over about half the sheet pan. Top with half the olive oil, half the butter, and half the garlic. Sprinkle with cayenne if desired. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the sheet pan. On the other half of the sheet pan, dot half the remaining butter and half the remaining olive oil on the sheet pan. Add the tilapia fillets on top. Top with the remaining butter and olive oil, and the garlic; sprinkle generously with cayenne pepper, to taste. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the tilapia is cooked through.
Serve over a grain, spooning on the garlic, butter, oil mix as desired, and enjoy!