Springtime means gardens are starting to show signs of life. Two ingredients in this dish – asparagus and mint – can already be harvested this time of year. With warmer temperatures there is the push to move toward lighter dinners instead of the heavier comfort-type foods of winter.
While there is much debate about whether you should choose thin asparagus or the thicker stems, this a matter of preference, but in our opinion the best flavor comes from the thicker stems when broiled or grilled, thinner stems are best when steaming.
- 2 pounds fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint leaves
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 tilapia fillets fresh or frozen, but thawed
- Olive oil or vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Set up a steamer, fill the bottom with water and bring to a boil. In the meantime, trim your asparagus by grabbing the flat end of the asparagus with your thumb and finger on one hand, and place your other hand near the middle of the asparagus stalk. Bend the stalk gently until it snaps. The pointed end is the end you will keep. Place the trimmed asparagus spears into the pot and steam until bright green and tender, but still somewhat crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove from the steamer when finished cooking.
- Combine the mint, garlic, lemon zest and pepper flakes in small bowl.
- Lightly brush each side of the tilapia with oil (about 1 tablespoon) and salt and pepper each side.
- Add the tilapia fillets to a hot pan and cook approximately 2 minutes. Gently flip the tilapia and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side or until opaque throughout.
- Serve the tilapia with the asparagus and garnish with the gremolata mixture.