Seafood

Sesame & Thyme Encrusted Tilapia

Super simple, super healthy.  Sesame and thyme encrusted tilapia (or halibut or swordfish or whatever white fish you get your hands on).

I adapted this recipe from Eating Well’s site (see original recipe here).  Most would argue that tilapia, like most other white fish, is healthy and very good for you; however I did just see some crazy article pressing that it is “worse for you than bacon.”  Malarkey, right?  If you know anything about this whole debate that actually makes some sense, please, leave comments below… I’d love to learn!  As far I know though, we need both omega 3’s and omega 6’s… and thus I will continue to tell myself that it is healthy for me ;)

This meal takes hardly any time to throw together at all, making it a perfect weeknight/after-work dindin.  Served with some rice and peas (which go great with most fish), it’s a simple yet tasty little meal.
At first, I thought the idea of sesame and thyme together sounded a bit mismatched.  But,  Za’atar (a Middle Eastern seasoning blend) includes both, so it’s not as far-fetched as I may have thought!  Turns out it’s pretty darn good actually.  Earthy and subtle.

Depending on how long you let it marinade for, it may become rather lemony…. so while I served mine with fresh lemon wedges on the side, you may want to try it first to make sure it’s not already lemony enough from the marination.  If you’re anything like me though, there’s really no such thing as too lemony ;)
INGREDIENTS
Per serving:
1 fillet fish (about 1 lb to 1.5 lb each)
1 tbsp lemon juice (1/2 lemon squeezed)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small garlic clove (1/2 tsp minced)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp dried thyme
serve with fresh lemon wedges
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Begin by mincing garlic
Mix olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic into a
deep dish (big enough to hold the number of fillets you are making)
Stir together until well blended
Lay fish fillet (or fillets) in the mixture and turn to coat evenly
Let it sit in the marinade while you prepare the other ingredients
(naturally, the longer it sits, the more flavor it will absorb)
Get at least good heaping tablespoon of sesame seeds per fillet
Heat in a small frying pan over medium heat until fragrant
Shake to mix them around and prevent burning
When you can smell them, they’re toasted… but you can keep toasting until you get a darker color if you prefer
Then remove from heat
Add dried thyme to the sesame seeds
Then dump it all in a small bowl and let cool
Once you start cooking the fish, it will only take about ten minutes, so now is a good time to prep anything you want (rice, peas, salad… whatever!).  Plus, it gives the fish more time to soak up all those flavors!  But no worries if you jump right into making the fish, it should be just fine as is, too :)
Generously salt each side of the fish before coating with seeds
Lay the fish on a foil-lined baking sheet
Cover the top of the fish with the sesame-thyme coating… you want it totally crusted, so get those seeds everywhere!
Bake the fish at 450 degrees for about ten minutes, plus or minus
a few minutes depending on the size of your fish
Serve with lemon wedges and fresh thyme for garnish, if desired
Enjoy!!

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About Me

Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!

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