Chicken Parmesan is one of my all-time favorite dinners. What's not to love? Crispy chicken, tomato sauce, melted cheese... all good things. However, what with being in the beginning stages of summer, I'm more apt to crave lighter dinners. This dinner definitely fits the bill. I feel like fish - especially something like tilapia - is typically lighter in taste than chicken. Plus, it cooks in no time flat. Definitely a plus. Rather than smothering the meat in a heavy tomato sauce and a blanket of melted cheese, I topped it with a salsa of sorts - roasted cherry tomatoes, cubes of mozzarella, and lots of fresh basil. You could certainly serve this over some pasta, but I opted to go with a bed of baby spinach.
Any spin on chicken parmesan is fine by me, but I especially like this lighter and summery take on it. Bring on the summer!
Crispy Parmesan Tilapia with Roasted Tomato Caprese Salsa
Pink Parsley Original
Roasted Tomato Caprese Salsa
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/2 Tbs olive oil
- kosher salt
- pinch of sugar
- 1/2 cup cubed mozzarella
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- splash of balsamic vinegar
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- splash of water or milk
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 4 tilapia filets, patted dry
- 4 Tbs olive oil, divided
For the roasted tomatoes, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the tomatoes with the oil, salt, and sugar. Spread in a single layer and cook about 20 minutes, tossing once. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Using tongs, transfer to a medium bowl, squeezing some of the tomatoes to break them (it lets the juices permeate the whole salsa). Toss with the mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add more oil if necessary as well. Set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the tilapia: Set up an assembly line with three shallow bowls (pie plates work really well too!). In the first bowl, add the flour and a pinch of salt. In the second, beat the eggs with the milk/water. In the third, mix the panko, Parmesan, salt and pepper, and garlic powder.
Preheat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Season the tilapia filets with salt and pepper.
One at a time, dredge the tilapia in the flour, then dip in the egg, allowing excess to drip off. Finally coat with the panko/parmesan mixture, pressing lightly to adhere the crumbs to the fish. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
Working 2 pieces at a time, cook the tilapia in the oil about 2-3 minutes per side, or until it flakes easily with a fork. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining fish.
Divide evenly among serving plates and top with the roasted tomato salsa. Serve immediately.