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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sauteed Tilapia with French Green Lentils

I searched high and low for these mysterious French green lentils. Many recipes called for them, because they stay more firm when cooking than regular lentils. I finally ended up buying them online, and paying more for them than I would normally pay for, well, dried beans. But, after using them in this recipe, it was worth the extra money. The texture and flavor they brought to this dish elevated it from an every day taste to a restaurant quality meal.

You could really use any kind of flaky white fish here. I used tilapia because it was what we had on hand, but cod, orange roughy, or even catfish would be fine.

Sauteed Tilapia with French Green Lentils
For the lentils:
1 cup French green lentils
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup onions, diced finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Place lentils in a large saucepan, and cover with water 2 inches over the top of the beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer gently 15-25 minutes until lentils are tender. Drain over a bowl, and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. While the lentils are cooking, in a large non-stick saute pan, melt butter. Saute onions and garlic until tender, then add salt.
Return the lentils to the sauce pan along with the cooking liquid, then add onion and garlic and gently stir together. Let this simmer while you prepare your fish, stirring occasionally.

For the fish:
4 4-6 ounce tilapia filets
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Lemon slices for garnish
Fresh Parsley for garnish
Using the same saute pan you used for the garlic and onions, melt the butter and add the olive oil. Liberally salt and pepper the fish. When the butter and olive oil is bubbly, add the fish to the pan, and cook until lightly browned, approximately 4 minutes per side. Serve on top of the lentils, and garnish with lemon and parsley.


  1. Very nice recipe, especially for the lentils. Cooking them separately and then mixing in the garlic and onions really seemed to improve the flavor, and helped maintain the texture of the lentils, too. I added some lemon juice to the fish (tilapia) while cooking, and served all of this with a side of green beans with garlic. No leftovers!

  2. So glad you enjoyed it ! I have found beluga lentils will work as well.