Tilapia with Za’atar Roasted Fennel, Cara Cara, Beets and Horseradish Cream Sauce
Impress that special someone with this nice, light dish. It’s a za’atar fennel frenzy. Nothing but fresh flavors on a plate. It’s all about the fruit, the vegetables, and the fish in this dish. So take a break from carb loading, and lighten up the mood with a refreshing negroni cocktail or a virgin orange fizz. Queue up the music because it’s a night for staying in.
- 2 fillets of boneless tilapia
Take 2 fillets of tilapia and wrap in paper towel to draw out excess moisture. Remove paper towel. Season with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place fillets on lemon slices and fennel fronds. Keep in refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking.
- 4 small to medium sized beets
Place beets in saucepan and fill with cold water. Boil beets for about 40 minutes or until a fork can pierce it easily. Have a large bowl ready with ice water. Remove beets and place them inside a colander. Put colander inside bowl with ice water and rub beets with hands or a towel to remove the skin. Keep in cold water for 5 minutes to cool off. Remove beets from water and set aside. The beet skin can be easily drained and discarded from colander.
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1/4 teaspoon za’atar
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper
Remove fennel fronds and set aside. Cut fennel bulb into segments. Season with za’atar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. When roasted, remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Horseradish Cream Sauce
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of sour cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of freshly grated horseradish
- 1 – 2 tablespoons of Dijon whole grain mustard
- salt & pepper to taste
Mix ingredients together and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Let horseradish cream sauce sit until ready to plate. If made ahead of time, keep in refrigerator and remove 30 minutes before plating.
Cara Cara Orange
For a prettier presentation, cut Cara Cara oranges into segments. Cut off both ends of the orange (top and bottom). Let orange stand on a board and begin to slice off skin with a knife going down lengthwise, removing all of skin and pith. Place orange in hand and over a bowl. Slice along the membrane lines. Segments should slip easily into the bowl.
Oven should still be nice and hot from the roasted fennel. Place a piece of parchment paper into a baking pan. Layer lemon slices and fennel fronds onto baking pan. Place tilapia filets on top of lemon and fronds. Bake in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes. Less is more in this case. Switch oven to broil. Put fish underneath broiler for 45 seconds to 1 minute, or to desired crispiness.
Place a dollop of horseradish cream sauce onto one side of the plate. Place beets in and around horseradish cream sauce. Scatter pieces of the za’atar roasted fennel and cara cara segments onto plate, leaving space for tilapia. Place tilapia with a slice of lemon onto remaining space. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of za’atar over the fish. Grate some fresh horseradish over entire plate and garnish with fennel fronds.