Target Health Blog

Tilapia Florentine with Green and Red Grapes


We could not believe how good this recipe turned out. It is healthy and absolutely delicious. In just a few seconds, Jules gave my new recipe a thumbs up, five stars. We're making it again, for a house guest. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
If you don't have tilapia in your neighborhood, use any white fish, light in texture like Dover or fillet of sole, etc. but check the sustainable fish list, created by Monterrey Bay Aquarium:
Farmed tilapia are okay to buy. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Not only is my recipe really tasty but the presentation is colorful and appealing. A big plus for tilapia, it's on all the responsible lists of sustainable fish. When you check these lists, take note, fish are often okay to eat, based on where on the planet they come from. Also, some fish go by more than one name, for example Mahi Mahi are also called Dolphinfish. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


1 onion, chopped

1/2 pound tilapia fillets, don't worry if it goes over 1/2 pound

10 green seedless grapes cut in half, set aside

10 red seedless grapes, cut in half, set aside

3 anchovy fillets, mashed with 3 cloves garlic

12 more fresh garlic cloves, sliced

1 cup fresh Italian-leaf parsley, chopped

1 cup fresh dill, chopped

1/4 cup Sambuca liqueur

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cardamom

1 heaping Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

2 large shallots, chopped

2 scallions, chopped (save some green for garnish)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 and 1/2 or 2 pounds baby spinach. Save one uncooked leaf for each person to be served.

Mix together 1/4 cup sharp cheddar (grated by hand) and ? cup feta cheese, grated by hand, then set aside

I love experimenting with new combinations and have been waiting for the right time to add Sambuca (licorice flavor) liqueur. If you read the recipes in our newsletter, you know I'm also having great results by using mashed anchovies and fresh garlic in many recipes, instead of salt. I have also begun trying out crickets and cricket products in recipes as a way of introducing a protein that leaves basically no carbon footprint. Of all the cultures that eat insects as a regular part of their diet, the favorite are the crickets. When I was much younger, and my favorite grandmother turned 99 (she lived to be 101), I baked her a cake with 99 candles and gave her a gift of chocolate covered ants. She loved them and passed the box around to all guests. It was like eating a chocolate covered rice crispy cake - delicious! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

To Cook the Tilapia

1. Cut each fillet in half, lengthwise

2. Dip each fish fillet (both sides), first in: 1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon almond or coconut milk.

3. Then cover both sides of the fish with the following mixture: 1/2 cup Panko mixed with 1/2 cup parmesan & 1 heaping Tablespoon cricket flour

About to mix the Panko, parmesan and cricket flour. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Tilapia has been rolled in the egg mixture, now the Panko/Cricket crumb mixture, before cooking. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

4. Cook in skillet with 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, no more than 1 minute on each side.

Cooking the tilapia. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

5. Put fish on paper toweling and set aside.

Tilapia is done and draining on paper toweling. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

Directions for Spinach Sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Oil a baking dish that can go from oven to table.

Do all your chopping, grating, slicing, mashing, zesting, etc. before anything else.

Cheese has been grated and/or crumbled and set aside. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Getting ready to mash the anchovies and garlic. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Cut grapes in half and set aside in a handy measuring cup. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Chopping everything at once. The lavender section are the shallots. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

6. Even with baby spinach, you've got to do a lot of rinsing. So, rinse the baby spinach two times and let drain, two times. Paper towel dry before cooking. For all other spinach, rinse three times, draining each time as well.

Save a few uncooked baby spinach leaves for serving the fish on, later. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

7. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and saut? onions, garlic, mashed anchovy/garlic, scallions, shallots in oil, until onions and garlic become golden.

Cooking everything in step #5. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

8. Reduce heat to medium and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, dill and all seasoning and spices; add the toasted sesame seeds.

If you wish, you can zest the lemon directly into the skillet, or elsewhere. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Adding lemon zest and lemon juice to the skillet. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Adding all chopped herbs to the skillet. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Adding all spices to the skillet. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

9. Now, add the spinach, cooking until wilted over medium to low heat. Then add the sambuca and stir in well. Make sure the sauce is nicely heated.

Add the fresh spinach. It looks like a lot but will wilt down in a matter of minutes. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Here the spinach has wilted down and has been well combined with the other ingredients. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

10. Add all the red and green grapes and stir in for 30 seconds.

Stir the grapes into the spinach mixture. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

11. Finally, distribute the crumbled or grated feta & cheddar, over the spinach mixture

Cheese mixture has been evenly distributed over the mixture. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

12. Add the tilapia over the cheese in one layer and bake in oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Bring to table, serve and enjoy!

To serve: On each plate, place 1 or 2 (depending on their size) raw spinach leaves. Onto the spinach leaves put one serving of the fish & spinach sauce. For garnish, add some chopped scallion and 1 red grape half and 1 green grape half.

Another way to serve, without using the oven: Keep the spinach sauce separate from the skillet cooked fish and add both cheeses to the skillet combining well, into the sauce. Put the raw spinach on each plate. On each leaf place 1 tilapia fillet. Spoon the spinach sauce over each fillet and then add the scallion/grape garnish.

Best Choices to Substitute for Tilapia in the Recipe 



Mahi Mahi or Dolphinfish (US handlines)

Seabass (farmed)

Tilapia (Canada, Ecuador, Peru & US)

Trout: Rainbow/Steelhead (US farmed)

Tuna: Albacore (trolls, pole and lines)


Pollock (Canada longlines, gillnets & US)

Flounder (farmed)



Seabass (farmed)


Dover sole

Everything disappeared fast. This baking dish was empty in no time. Yum! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
This Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuisse went well with the Tilapia Florentine . ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

Have a great week everyone!

Bon Appetit!

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