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Tilapia Piccata

Tilapia Piccata


  • 4 tilapia or other sustainable flaky white fish fillets (about 1 3/4 pounds total), divided

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 cup flour, for dredging

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 2 lemons, 1 sliced, 1 juiced (about 3 tablespoons)

  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped

  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth

  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained

  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)


Pre-heat the oven to the lowest setting. Add a platter and four dinner plates; let warm while you make the tilapia.

Pat the fish dry; season with salt and pepper. Place the flour on a large plate. Dredge the fish lightly in the flour, shaking off the excess.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. When the EVOO begins to smoke, melt in 1 tablespoon butter. Add two fillets and cook until opaque in the center, 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to the warm platter in the oven. Wipe the skillet clean, then repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO, 1 tablespoon butter and two fillets.

Wipe the skillet clean, then add 1 tablespoon butter. When the butter melts, add the lemon slices and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Place the lemon slices on top of the fish.

Add the shallot and garlic to the skillet and stir until softened, about 1 minute. Add the wine, capers, parsley and lemon juice. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Divide the fish among the warm plates. Season the lemon sauce and spoon over the fish.