Baked Tilapia with Fennel Fronds and Salads (Potato, Tomato)

One of the lovely things about buying produce from the farmer’s market is taking home all of those vegetable tops; it’s like 2 veggies for the price of one! Most vegetable tops go straight into my freezer until I’ve accumulated enough to make a batch of broth, although some do end up in soup, stir fry, or frittata. However, I must admit I was at a loss when I took home a gorgeous bulb of fennel that was somewhere around a 5:1 ratio of frond to bulb.

Most of the recipes I found online that use fennel fronds do so as a garnish and only call for a couple of tablespoons. But I noticed many of these fennel frond recipes were for seafood, and bloggers all over the internet waxed poetically about the marriage of flavors. So, much like I will cook chicken or lamb on a bed of rosemary stalks, I decided to experiment with baked fish on a bed of fennel fronds. And I wasn’t disappointed.

The next time you find yourself with an overabundance of fennel fronds, give this recipe a try.


1.5 lbs tilapia

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt & pepper 

4 large fennel fronds

4 medium potatoes

2 tbsp mustard

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 

1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 quart cherry tomatoes

2 oz feta 


Preheat oven to 375.

Slice potatoes into small chunks, then steam until tender. Set aside.

Place tilapia filets on a plate, then drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Rub to coat the filet on both sides, then set aside.

Layer fennel fronds in a baking dish, then place tilapia on top.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily when pressed with a fork.

While the fish is cooking, combine the mustard, apple cider vinegar, and white balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Pour over the potatoes. Sprinkle the thyme leaves, then toss to coat the potatoes.

Slice the tomatoes into halves or quarters, then add to medium bowl. Crumble feta on top of tomatoes and toss.

Serve the fish right out of the oven with the two salads.


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