Tilapia is too good to enjoy only during summer

  • Fresh pico de gallo with a splash of dry white wine and tilapia bring summer's flavors to this fall dish.

    Fresh pico de gallo with a splash of dry white wine and tilapia bring summer's flavors to this fall dish.

Updated 1/26/2016 1:35 PM

I have a misguided habit of thinking tilapia is only a spring or summer fish. But because tilapia is a farmed fish that can be bought in individually packaged fillets, it can easily be enjoyed any time of the year with the same wonderful results.

Today's recipe takes the seasonal confusion to a whole new level by using pico de gallo (fresh salsa) that can be found in your grocery store's refrigerated produce section, even this time of year. Though most precut vegetables you buy in the middle of winter will never compare to summer's fresh bounty, cooking the pico de gallo in the skillet with a splash of dry white wine does wonders to brighten and heighten the flavors.


If your fillets are already thawed (I like to pop them in the refrigerator the night before), then this dish will come together in less than 20 minutes. No matter when -- summer, spring, fall or winter -- you're going to love this fresh take on fish. Enjoy!

Suggested menu:

Salt and Pepper Tilapia With Winter Pico

Jasmine rice

Crisp green salad

• Write to Alicia Ross at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to tellus@kitchenscoop.com. Or visit the Kitchen Scoop website at www.kitchenscoop.com.

Salt and Pepper Tilapia With Winter Pico

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

2 tilapia fillets (4 ounces each), thawed

teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt

teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

cup dry white wine

cup prepared pico de gallo

Heat oil in a regular skillet over medium-high. Meanwhile, press fillets between several layers of paper towels to remove as much water as possible. Add salt and pepper to both sides and place fish in hot oil. Cook, shaking the pan to prevent sticking, for 4 to 5 minutes. Cover with a splatter guard, if necessary, or loosely with a lid. Turn and cook 3 to 4 more minutes or until fish begins to crack and flake.

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Remove fillets to a platter and deglaze the pan with wine. Add pico de gallo; stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion in the salsa is tender. Top fish with pico de gallo and serve.

Start to finish: less than 20 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Approximate values per serving: 240 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 94 mg cholesterol, 34 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, no dietary fiber, 280 mg sodium.

-- Alicia Ross

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