On our way to Vegas the other month, I popped into the news stand at DFW to pick up my usual airplane entertainment: Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Gourmet (no more, sob!), Cooking Light, basically every cooking magazine available. For some reason, pickings were really slim - just a Food and Wine and something called The Best of Fine Cooking: Grilling. I thought, I like grilling, so even though I don't know you, New Food Magazine Friend, I shall invite you to Vegas with me. It wasn't until the cashier was ringing me up that we noticed it was $9.99. "Wow, expensive magazine," she said. No shit, madam.
However, I've got to tell you, it's been a great magazine to cook through. I've made three or four recipes thus far with nary a dud. This one in particular was glorious - quick, healthy, and full of olivey deliciousness.
Mint, my old friend. I thought you were past your prime and yanked you from the garden, yet there you are again, shooting up between other plants on your never-ending quest for Garden Domination. I can't say I mind, though. I missed you. I know it seems like mint doesn't really "go" with the rest of the flavors here, but I can't stress enough how much it actually does. Give it a try.
The original recipe called for swordfish which would have been fantastic if I'd had some kicking around, but my little everyday tilapia loins subbed in nicely. And, despite finding the recipe in a magazine called Grilling, I just used the stove. Easy peasy.
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 oil-packed sun dried tomato
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
small handful basil leaves (I used globe basil from the garden)
small handful of mint leaves
small clove of garlic, smashed
pinch of red pepper flakes
~6oz pasta, whatever shape you like
1 or 2 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
another small mixed handful of basil and mint, torn into small pieces
2 tilapia fillets
Combine all of the ingredients for the tapenade in the food processor (I use a little mini-prep). Pulse until the mixture forms a coarse paste. Set aside.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. When it's finished and drained, toss with a little olive oil, the cherry tomatoes, and herbs. Plate a mound of pasta in each of your serving bowls.
While your pasta is cooking, season your tilapia with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a splash of olive oil to a non-stick skillet and cook the tilapia over medium-high heat until just opaque, three or four minutes per side depending on the size of the fillet. When the fish is done, smear it with a hefty spoonful of tapenade (you'll have too much for just two servings) and place the fillet atop your pasta.
Serves two, takes about half an hour. Save the rest of your tapenade! We had it smeared on toasted slices of baguette the next day. Mmmmmmm.