The subtle flavors of Dijon and basil on light tilapia, paired with a vibrant sweet but savory fresh peach zucchini salsa. A healthy, palate-pleasing gluten-free and paleo dinner entree.
Did you go fishing as a child? Or do you still go fishing? I guess it depends on where you live, but since I’ve always lived in a rural area, fishing was always an easy activity to do. Growing up, it was actually one of my favorite things to do with my brother and dad. Even though I was the “tiny dancer” of the family, I really enjoyed these “tomboy” activities. It wasn’t even so much the act of fishing that I loved most, it was the preparation. My brother and I would beg my dad to take us on the weekend, and the times we did get him to agree, I was elated.
Getting my dad to take us was probably the hardest part, but from there, the fun began. By fun, I mean my favorite part, digging for worms in the backyard (I kid you not)! We have a huge backyard and most of it is pretty muddy, creating some prime spots for worms to dwell under pieces of wood or stones. My brother and I would go out, start lifting every movable wood panel or stone we could find and dig out the warms from the moist ground. I really enjoyed playing with the worms in my dirty, mud-caked hands. Once we had found enough, we would go to my dad, show him, and then head to the garage to get out our fishing poles and tackle boxes.
My dad’s tackle box was the best! It was huge and had so many little gizmos and gadgets. My brothers was stocked as well, but for awhile there, I didn’t have my own. Until one birthday (not sure how old I was), by grandfather got me my own tackle box and fishing accessories! I was elated! I felt so badass and “grown-up” with my own box now. I loved all the little accessories and rubber worms, tablets, etc. you could get in the store to fill that box. I loved keeping it all organized and clean, ready for a day out to the river.
Once we had all of our gear packed up, we would usually stop at the local Bagel shop and Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast and some snacks to take with us. At the DD, they also had this “live critters” dispenser (like a soda machine, but for fishers to get some bait), and my dad would buy a can of “quality” bait, just in case the worms my brother and I collected weren’t enough. Then we’d start driving around on the back roads to a few different spots we had. Usually we’d stop at multiple locations, rivers, lakes, ponds, any place that looked good that day. Each time, we would haul out our gear, trek down to the water and set up our poles. Then we waited, usually a long time. I would get antsy and start digging and playing in the mud (for more worms, maybe!) and hope my dad would take over responsibility for my fishing pole if there was a tug. (I was a bad fisher, but I loved the preparation!).
We would sometimes get a fish or two. After multiple attempts on my part for reel it in, feeling like the pole would break (not to mention the many times my brother and I would get our fishing lines stuck in a bush!). If I did reel something in, I found the fish fascinating, but then hated having it flop around on the end of the line, with the hook stuck in its mouth, waiting for my dad to get the fish off so we could throw it back and start again. Yea, we threw the fish back and started ALL over again. Tiring “fun and games”. Being a little girl, I would get tired quickly and want to go home after a hour or two, but those days out with my brother and dad were some of my favorites. We’d get back home, all dirty, smelling of nature, and would re-tell our adventures to my mom. I will always cherish those childhood memories.
Okay, are you ready for a fish recipe now? I’d say you are! I have a huge obsession with mustard and fish. I love coating fish with some type of mustard. Dijon or honey mustard are the usual suspects. My favorite combo is honey mustard with dried basil. That’s it! But so good! The tilapia recipe I have today though, uses Dijon, parsley, and basil. I paired this lovely light fish with the perfect summer peach and zucchini salsa! The slight sweetness of the salsa compliments the savory Dijon perfectly and really brightened the dish. This is the perfect light summer entree to enjoy after a day out fishing (or just a day in need of some good food!)
Dijon Tilapia with Peach Zucchini Salsa
- Peach Zucchini Salsa:
- 1 Large Ripe Peach
- 1 Large Red Tomato
- 1 Medium Zucchini
- 1 Scallion
- ½ Tsp Minced Garlic
- ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Tsp Dried Basil (or 1 TB fresh)
- ½ Tsp Dried Mint
- Tilapia Fillets:
- 4 Tilapia Fillets
- 1 Tsp Dijon Mustered (per fillet)
- ¼ Tsp Dried Basil (per fillet)
- ¼ Tsp Dried Parsley (per fillet)
- For the salsa: Roughly chop all the fruit and veggies and add to a food processor along with the spices and herbs. Pulse until you get a salsa texture and set aside.
- For the Tilapia: Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Line a baking sheet with a greased piece of foil and lay out each tilapia fillet.
- Coat and rub in 1 tsp of dijon and ¼ tsp of dried basil and parsley to each fillet.
- Bake the tilapia for 12-14 minutes, until done.
- Remove, and top with salsa as desired.
A simple but vibrant and summery meal, easiest enough for any day of the week! If you have major skill and live near an awesome lake, maybe you could catch your own fish 😉 But I won’t be doing that anytime soon, I’ll stick to the grocery fish counter 😉 Haha!
So tell me:
+ Did you go fishing as a kid? Do you still go now? I’ve never been on a boat to fish (boats freak me out anyway), always just the old fashion way!
+ Were you a tomboy, girly-girl, or in-between growing up?
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