Some days all you need is a nice light meal, full of summery flavors and entirely lacking in zucchini. This tilapia, stuffed with sauteed ruby chard and salty feta cheese and topped with a lemony sauce, fit the bill for us perfectly. My father, who always seems to come up with his own entertaining pronunciations for foreign words, dubbed the sauce a “kerplunk,” and honestly, I almost like that better than beurre blanc!
Stuffed Tilapia with Lemon-Dill Kerplunk
4 tilapia fillets, thick pieces only
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 T fresh dill, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 C spinach or Swiss chard, washed well and stems removed (reserve for another use)
2 T feta cheese, crumbled
2 T unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 C white wine
6 T butter, cut into 6 pats
1 T dill weed or dill flowers, chopped
Preheat oven to 350F. Butterfly the tilapia fillets lengthwise to create a long pocket; season with salt and pepper inside and out. Stack the Swiss chard leaves, roll into a fat cigar, and cut into thin strips.
Heat the olive oil in a sautÃ© pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Add the chard and sautÃ© for 2 to 3 minutes more, until wilted. Remove from the heat. Add the feta cheese and mix well.
Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a small casserole dish and line up the butterflied tilapia fillets in it. Spoon a few tablespoons of the chard-feta mixture inside each fillet and close. Sprinkle with chopped dill and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
While fish cooks, prepare the sauce: Use a paper towel to wipe out the sautÃ© pan from the chard, and add the shallot, lemon juice and zest, and white wine; bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. (You can add a splash of cream at the end to help the sauce emulsify if you like.) Remove the pan from the heat and reduce the temperature to medium-low. Add 2 pats of the butter to the pan and use a whisk to stir constantly until the butter is melted. Return to the heat and add the remaining butter one pat at a time, whisking until all the butter is used and the sauce is thickened and creamy. If you want a smooth sauce, strain it at this point; I generally don’t bother. Add the dill and keep warm until ready to use, then spoon over the baked fish.
Source: Freely adapted from Simple Foodie.