By Jess Ziman
I remember perusing the farmers’ market eight months ago and wistfully bidding farewell to my favorite summer produce. There are seasonal gems all year round, but without a doubt summer is the most vivacious. I was so happy to go to the farmers’ market last week and take in the renewed abundance of color and variety – fresh tomatoes, asparagus, cherries and lovely golden peaches!
To me, these tilapia tacos with peach, corn, and black bean salsa are the perfect way to welcome the season. Nothing says summer quite like a lovely ripe peach and fish tacos instantly making me feel like a sun-kissed surfer. Not only are the tacos a refreshing, yet surprisingly filling meal, but they are quick to make so you won’t have to be indoors too long, missing the sunshine.
Tilapia is such a mild fish, so the sweetness of the peaches and that zing of lime really help to develop flavor. Plus, tilapia is relatively cheap and, when farmed in the United States, sustainable. If you can’t find U.S.-raised tilapia, Central American tilapia is a good alternative. My advice: eat this barefoot on your balcony and wash it down with an ice cold Corona and lime.
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Tilapia Tacos with Peach, Corn and Black Bean Salsa
Juice of 2 limes, divided
½ jalapeño pepper, finely diced
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 medium peach, finely chopped
½ cup minced red onion
1 cup canned, low-sodium sweet corn, drained
1 cup canned, low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 to 2 cups canned vegetable broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound tilapia fillets
8 flour tortillas (6 ½-inch diameter)
Hot sauce (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the juice of one lime, jalapeño, cilantro, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. In medium bowl, combine peach, onion, corn and beans. Add the lime mixture and toss to incorporate. Cover and refrigerate.
- In a heavy-bottomed pan large enough to snugly fit the fish fillets, pour enough vegetable broth to cover ½ inch up the sides of the pan. Add butter, remaining lime juice and 1 tablespoon of salt. Heat the mixture to a low simmer. The liquid should not be bubbling but lightly rippling.
- Slide the fish fillets in the pan. The poaching liquid should only reach half way up the fish. Cover the pan and simmer 3 minutes. Then flip the fish and cook for a few more minutes until the fish is moist and flaky but not quite falling apart. Remove the fish from the pan. With a fork, shred the fish into small pieces.
- Using tongs, hold a tortilla directly over the flame of a gas burner for a few seconds on each side to soften. Repeat with remaining tortillas. If you don’t have a gas stove, heat tortillas in a dry skillet.
- Top each tortilla with fish and salsa, dividing equally. Add hot sauce, if desired. Serve immediately.
Jess Ziman, is an avowed foodie with a fierce passion for international cuisines. Originally from the United Kingdom, she grew up in Southern California where she also learned to appreciate the ease and freshness inherent in California cooking. A culinary student at the Art Institute in San Francisco, Jess, 21, is busy with school and internships. She often comes home to feed her nine hungry roommates; it has made her a pro at whipping up quick, tasty meals on a budget.
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