Ah, August! It’s prime time for summer entertaining … as long as you can beat the heat! If you’re searching for a deliciously different seafood appetizer for your next patio or poolside gathering, check out the latest original Dish on Fish recipe: Crostini with Blackened Tilapia and Watermelon Salsa. These tasty snacks are refreshing and satisfying. Plus, they require zero oven time (and just a few minutes of grill-tending), so they get extra points for easy preparation! And they couldn’t be easier to prepare!
As our regular readers know, we’re big proponents of the KISS rule—Keep It Simple, Seafoodies!—especially in the summer, when we just want to kick back and relax. So, we created this no-fuss, warm-weather app, leaning on two of our not-so-secret weapons for summery seafood meals: in-season produce and a hot grill.
Spice-rubbed tilapia fillets and thin baguette slices cook up quickly while you make the fresh fruit salsa. In place of traditional tomato and cilantro, we use juicy watermelon cubes with fresh basil, balanced with a kick of lime, jalapeño and red onion, which gives you a flavor explosion in each bite. Top the crostini with crumbled feta and drizzle of balsamic glaze, pop open a bottle of crisp Chardonnay and let the party begin!
Tilapia is a mild, versatile white fish that’s a natural for summer meals. It’s rich in protein, with more than 20 grams per 4-ounce serving. It’s also low in fat and calories, which is a bonus if you’re lightening up your meals during beach season! Tilapia also gives you plenty of potassium, an electrolyte that’s necessary to keep your heart, kidneys and other organs working properly, plus other essential nutrients like vitamin D and magnesium. All in all, it’s a smart choice (and a light lift) when you’re trying to fit in the recommended 2 to 3 servings of seafood a week. Pick up a bag of frozen, individually-wrapped tilapia fillets, and you’ll always have a lean protein source on call—they go with anything!
So, let’s raise a glass. Here’s a “little toast” (ummm … crostini) to you, Seafoodies! Trust us, they’re out of this world!
Crostini with Blackened Tilapia and Watermelon Salsa
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 appetizers (2 per person)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1½ pounds tilapia
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 baguette, sliced thinly into ¼-inch pieces
- 2 cups watermelon, diced
- ¼ red onion, finely diced
- ½ jalapeño, chopped
- ½ lime, juiced
- Dash of salt
- ¼-½ cup fresh basil, chopped into thin ribbons
- ½ cup feta cheese, diced into small chunks
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Balsamic glaze (optional)
- Preheat grill to medium-high. Place fish in a dish. Drizzle both sides of fish with 1½ tablespoons olive oil; set aside.
- Make blackening seasoning by combining paprika, onion powder, oregano, cayenne pepper and salt in a small bowl. Evenly cover both sides of fish with blackening seasoning. Place fish on grill; cook 3-4 minutes per side or until fish is cooked thoroughly.
- While fish is cooking, make salsa by combining watermelon, red onion, jalapeño, lime juice and salt in a small mixing bowl. Fold basil in; mix gently.
- Drizzle bread slices with remaining olive oil. Place bread slices on grill using tongs and grill for about 1 minutes or until desired crispiness.
- Divide cooked fish into 12 crostini-sized (about 2”x3”) pieces and place on top of crostini; top with watermelon salsa, feta and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper. Then drizzle with balsamic glaze, if desired.
Grill, baking dish (for raw fish), small bowl, medium mixing bowl, baking dish (for cooked fish), tongs