The history of the "piccata" dish is a bit confusing, but many believe it to be of American design, most likely by Italian-American immigrants during the 1930's. Piccatas today are generally made with veal, but here in the U.S., chicken prevails.
Irrespective of its origin, piccata flavors go perfectly with tilapia...
Tilapia piccata is a quick-and-easy dish that gets its distinctive flavor from capers, white wine and lemon juice, and butter. The piquant sauce is drizzled over the sautéed tilapia at the last minute and served immediately, that is unless you hold it up by taking time for photos first, which Bill patiently waited for.
The tilapia, served on a bed of smooth and creamy orzo tossed with halved grape tomatoes and parsley, just gets better. Orzo is a slender pasta that resembles large grains of rice. It is definitely Italian and the word means “barley.”
When this dish appears on our dinner table we’re pleased it does, it’s an adult comfort food with an excellent combination of flavors.
I hope you give it a try!
Tilapia Piccata over Parsley and Tomato Orzo
8 ounces (1-1/2 cups) uncooked orzo
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper, divided
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons flour
4 (6-ounces) tilapia fillets
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/3 cup white wine
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons capers, drained
1. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, stir in tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and parsley. Set aside, keep warm.
2. Combine remaining salt and pepper, and flour on a large plate. Dredge fish in flour mixture.
3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish to pan, cook about 4-5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove fish from pan and keep warm.
4. Add wine, juice and capers to pan, cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to pan, stir until butter melts.
5. Serve fish with sauce and orzo.