Tilapia with Tangerine and Avocado Salsa

Wine Commentary by Gary Twining

Tilapia with Tangerine and Avocado Salsa

With significant amounts of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, tilapia is a lean white fish with a mild flavor. Look for tilapia from the US, Canada and Ecuador, all on the Seafood Watch recommended list. This recipe can be made with oranges or tangelos.

4-5 tangerines, peeled

1/4 cup fresh tangerine or orange juice

2 ripe avocados, peeled and diced

1 scallion, thinly sliced

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 TBS olive oil, divided

4 tilapia fillets

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Segment tangerines. Over a large bowl, remove membrane from each segment, catching the juices in the bowl. Chop segments into bite-sized pieces. Add 1/4 cup tangerine or orange juice to bowl; gently stir in tangerine and avocado, scallion, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 TBS olive oil at medium high. Season tilapia with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and pan-fry 2 fillets at a time until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Add 1 TBS oil to skillet and repeat with remaining fillets.

Arrange remaining fillets on platter. Spoon orange and avocado salsa over tilapia. Garnish with cilantro.

Gary: The citrus and avocado suggest a white wine with crisp acidity that will also bring out the flavor of the cilantro without overshadowing the delicacy of the tilapia. A dry Riesling or Chenin Blanc/Vouvray with a hint of sweetness can echo the tangerine flavors and bring out the brightness of the herbs. A lightly herbal Sauvignon Blanc would pair well as would a Verdejo or a crisp Italian white such as Gavi, Pinot Grigio or sparkling Prosecco.

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