with roasted eggplant and red pepper pesto and garlic broccolini
Simple oven-roasted fish (or portobello mushrooms) is one of the easiest weeknight dishes, but dressed up with our eggplant and red pepper pesto, it all of a sudden becomes a restaurant quality dish! This pesto takes a bit of work, but we use it for two nights, and you'll definitely want to make it again and again.
Smarts: Make sauce on Sunday (and even taking some extra advantage of pepper and eggplant season) and this dinner comes together in a flash for Monday.
- Red peppers (medium-sized) - 2
- Chinese eggplants - 2 ((These are the longer, thinner eggplants. You can also substitute 3 Japanese eggplants))
- Garlic cloves - 2, peeled
- Walnuts - 1/4 cup
- Salt - 3/4 tsp
- Pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Parsley - 4 sprigs
- Lemon - 1, juice of
- Tilapia - 4 fillets, rinsed and dried
- Olive oil - for brushing
- Salt and pepper -
- Lemon - 1/2, wedges
- Homemade roasted eggplant and red pepper pesto - 1 cup ((Ingredients listed separately))
- Garlic cloves - 2, minced
- Broccolini - 2 bunches
- Olive oil - 1 Tbsp
- Lemon - 1/2, juice of
- Roast Vegetables - Fire up your grill or turn on your oven’s broiler. Core stem out of red peppers. Pierce eggplant all over with a fork. Brush veggies lightly with some oil. Broil on a sheet pan or grill over direct heat for 6 minutes each side. Once red pepper is charred and eggplant is softened, place in a mixing bowl and cover with a plate for ~5 minutes to steam off skins. When cool enough to touch, scrape flesh out of eggplant and skin off of red pepper. This video shows you how to roast peppers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make pesto - This makes enough for tomorrow’s meal too. Place flesh of eggplant, roasted red peppers, garlic, walnuts, salt, pepper and parsley into a food processor. Pulse until is everything is well blended. Finish with lemon juice and season to taste with more salt and pepper as needed. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Garlic (for Broccolini) - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Tilapia - Rinse and pat very dry. Place onto a sheet pan, brush with olive oil and salt and pepper.
- If making tilapia on the grill: Preheat grill to 500F (260C) degrees. Place sheet pan over direct heat. Cook with cover closed for 8 to 11 minutes, flipping once midway through.
- If making tilapia in the oven: Adjust top rack of oven so it’s about 6 to 8 inches from the broiler. Turn broiler on. Broil fish for 8 to 11 minutes, flipping once midway through.
- Trim ends off of broccolini. Rinse and place into a microwave-safe dish. Toss with minced garlic and some salt and pepper. Cover with a wet paper towel and microwave for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, until broccolini is tender but still crunchy. Finish with olive oil and lemon juice.
- Slice rest of lemon into wedges and serve with tilapia. Lightly warm up pesto and top tilapia with pesto, and enjoy with broccolini.
We did the tilapia and broccoli on the grill. Served with naan and half of us ate it like fish tacos :)0 Helpful
Need to try again, with larger filets and a food processor! We also could've used more lemon. Neither item reheated well the next day.0 Helpful
The pesto was delicious and disguised the slightly fishy flavor of our less-than-fresh tilapia. But it takes a lot of extra prep time to roast, steam and cool the veggies, so I'd think it's only worth making if you do it in advance and can use the pesto for several meals. Be careful if you have a really juicy lemon -- we only needed half for the pesto; the other half overpowered the broccolini.0 Helpful
This pesto is awesome! My husband loved it. We cooked rice and ate the pesto on the rice as well!0 Helpful
Pesto was amazing - good meal but nothing amazing.0 Helpful
Easy and fast because I made the pesto on sunday!0 Helpful