Tomato Caper Tilapia


Lately, I’ve been up to my elbows in tomatoes. This? is a good thing. The boyfriend and I have been hitting the farmers’ market week after week since our return from Rome, and tomatoes are tops on our list. Our tomato purchases seem to increase from week to week because they’re just that good and there’s so much you can do with them. This week, he was in New York for a bachelor party and I went to the market alone. We’re heading to the beach next weekend, which means no market for us (we’ll hit some of the produce stands on the way up). So what did I stock up on? Tomatoes? The bag was so heavy I had to lift it with both arms, tilt backward to counter the weight so I wouldn’t fall forward and land on my face. But I had to have them.

A light, fresh tasting meal with a complement of asparagus and artisan bread.

A light, fresh tasting meal with a complement of asparagus and artisan bread.

Because what is summer without tomatoes, after all? The ones you find at most grocery stores are flavorless and hard. Their flesh is orangey instead of a marvelous red. You can’t smell them and you can hardly taste them. Even in summer when tomatoes are in season, there’s really no comparison between store and soil. And the heirloom tomatoes! If you only went to the store, you’d never know about Mr. Stripey or the Cherokee Purple?

I’ve making lots of salads and salsa and slicing them up for caprese salad and for burgers. I’ve been throwing them into sauce pans and cooking up spaghetti puttanesca. I’ve been dicing them up and cooking it with fish, and in this recipe in particular, which is so good that I want to tip the tomatoes directly into my mouth and skip the fish altogether. But trust me, the fish and the sauce together? As my friend Rob would say, it’s ACES.

You can dice up fresh tomatoes or use a 15oz can of diced.

I started making this dish in the winter when I was trying to incorporate more fish into my diet, so back then I used a 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes, but because it’s summer, I take the time to pick out some red ripe tomatoes and chop them up for this dish. This is something you can make all year long, though, and canned tomatoes aren’t a bad option.

A quick cook-up in a large pan and it's almost ready.

Because the capers add a lot of salt to the dish, you don’t have to add any additional salt. I’ve tried this dish with a bit of Parmesan cheese, tried it where I breaded and fried the fish lightly before hand, but I think I like it best without too much adornment.


  • 2 (3-4 oz) tilapia fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (fresh or use one 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • salt & pepper to taste

Optional: 2 tablespoons heavy cream (or half and half)


  1. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat and drizzle in the olive oil. Pat dry tilapia fillets with paper towels.
  2. Season fish with pepper and place the skillets in the hot skillet. Cook for 3 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  3. Add wine, tomatoes, and capers to the skillet. Increase heat to medium high and boil for 2 minutes to burn off alcohol. Reduce heat to low and add cream if desired. Simmer for 2 minutes more, then remove from heat. Serve hot.

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2 Responses to “Tomato Caper Tilapia”

  1. Kerstin Says:

    This is the perfect way to enjoy fresh summer tomatoes!

  2. Recipe Master List « matzo&rice Says:

    […] tomato caper tilapia […]

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