Tilapia Piccata

tilapia piccata
  • 4Servings


  • 4 tilapia or other sustainable flaky white fish fillets (about 1 3/4 lbs. total)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup flour, for dredging
  • 4 tablespoons EVOO
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 lemons--1 sliced, 1 juiced (about 3 tbsp.)
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped (about 2 tbsp.)


Preheat the oven to the lowest setting. Add a platter and 4 dinner plates; let warm while you make the tilapia.

Pat the fish dry; season with salt and pepper. Place the flour on a large plate. Dredge the fish lightly in the flour, shaking off the excess.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. When the oil begins to smoke, melt in 1 tbsp. butter. Add 2 fillets and cook until opaque in the center, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to the warm platter in the oven. Wipe the skillet clean, then repeat with the remaining 2 tbsp. EVOO, 1 tbsp. butter and 2 fillets.

Wipe the skillet clean, then add 1 tbsp. butter. When the butter melts, add the lemon slices and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Place the lemon slices on top of the fish.

Add the shallot and garlic to the skillet and stir until softened, about 1 minute. Add the wine, capers, parsley and lemon juice. Swirl in the remaining 1 tbsp. butter and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Divide the fish among the warm plates. Season the lemon sauce and spoon over the fish.