Pan Seared Tilapia with Watermelon Pico de Gallo

For the Fish:

  • 10 oz. tilapia fillet
  • Vegetable Oil; as needed
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper; to taste

For the Pico:

  • 1 small seedless watermelon (try yellow!); rind removed and flesh diced
  • 1 small red onion; finely diced
  • 2 bell peppers (try a combination of colors!); seeded and diced
  • 2 Jalapeño peppers; seeded and finely diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro; roughly chopped
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1-2 limes; or to taste
  • Kosher Salt; to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil; as needed

This summer dish pairs well with fresh and bright Cilantro Lime Rice!

Cut the fish into equal portions and blot dry with a paper towel. Generously season with salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add about a tablespoon of oil- or just enough to barely coat the bottom of the pan. Heat until the oil is SHIMMERING. Place the fillets in the oil, one at a time, presentation side down. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, and work in batches if necessary. The pieces should not be touching one another! Cook until the first side is a crispy golden brown before flipping, about 1-2 minutes. Lower the heat if necessary to control splatter. When the fish is cooked through, remove it to a separate tray and allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving.

This can be done ahead and stored in the fridge for a few days! Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and season to taste with more lime, salt, and olive oil until it tastes delicious. The mixture should be glistening with the dressing, and will accumulate more moisture as it sits. The pico can be refreshed with more lime juice as it sits and the flavors become more mellow.