Delicious Summer Meal: Baked Tilefish

By Carmen A. Woodruff

My dad’s grandfather, Jacob Woodruff represented goodness in every sense of the word.  He had a good heart, a good wife, an infectious spirit and perhaps most memorable, an ever-growing garden.  His 15’ x 10‘ enclosed front yard was filled to capacity with fresh fruits, veggies, herbs and anything else a healthy heart desired.

Dr. Warren Woodruff was still a baby but I was impressionable enough to remember “Grandpa’s” tours through his garden and our overflowing take-home goodie bags. “Grandpa” lived well into his nineties and up until his last day he exuded serenity, joy and peace, all results of his smart nutritional choices.

All this being said, it is important to continue the tradition of supporting gardening and local farmers, especially these days, when meats and produce are inundated with antibiotics and pesticides.  In the spirit of “Grandpa,” (the only grandfather I had the pleasure to know) I made my way to the Raleigh State Farmers Market this past weekend.  The weather was perfect; the peaches were ripe; the organic grapes were heavenly…And I learned all of this before making a single purchase!

You see, when you visit the farmers market, your first order of business should be to scope and sample.  And remember, not only are you scoping the quality of the produce, you are also screening prices.  Don’t forget about the indoor vendors!  For all of the lady readers and animal lovers, there is an out-of-this-world skin care company inside of the Raleigh State Farmers Market freestanding building.  They even supply natural soaps for man’s best friend.

SIDE NOTE:  There is another stand not too far down the way staffed by the most adorable senior citizen farmers you’ve ever met in life!  They are extremely knowledgeable about their produce and sell items not found outside like eggs, ginger, garlic and milk.

After chatting with the Anders Natural Soap Company, Inc. associates and purchasing a bar of their irresistible “hydrogen” soap, I bumped into a passionate, all things North Carolina surf enthusiast from Locals Seafood.  He introduced me to his iced offerings and together we narrowed down my decision to tilefish, a meaty white fish, and a fresh catch from the North Carolina coast.  He was even nice enough to share the best preparation and garnish practices.

Locals Seafood was recently featured in the Raleigh News & Observer.  For more information, click here:

I hope you enjoy this week’s recipe.  Remember to visit your local farmers market.  It’s easy on your wallet; you’ll contribute to your community and perhaps even meet a new friend or two!

Until next time,

Carmen Woodruff




PRE-COOKING PREPARATION:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.



1 handful of chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons of olive oil

sea salt


1 tilefish filet

Tilefish fresh from the fish market.


Tilefish garnished with cilantro before going into oven.


Line a small baking pan with foil, evenly distributing the first tablespoon of olive oil on top and across the area of which the fillet of tilefish will rest.  Place the tilefish on top of the foil, using the remainder of the olive oil to coat the top of the fish.  Massage into the meaty fish fillet (similar to the consistency of mahi mahi or swordfish).  Sprinkle salt and pepper onto the oiled fish to your preferred taste.  Spread the cilantro across the top of the fillet.  Bake for 30 minutes (at least), keeping a watchful eye to prevent overcooking.  Allow time to cool and serve.


Carmen Woodruff is excited to share healthy tips with you as a guest blog contributer for Orchard Maple Family Dental. She is the daughter of Dr. William Woodruff and the sister of Dr. Warren Woodruff.  Carmen is committed to living a healthy lifestyle. Following a careful nutrition regimen for many years, she currently embraces a plant-based diet with the exception of a few lean proteins, including fish.  Throughout the past five years, Carmen has attended many conferences, workshops and one-on-one sessions featuring chefs, raw foodists, naturopathic practitioners and vegetarians.  She credits a clean diet and the practice of yoga to an overall balanced well-being and hopes to help others as she continues to research and study.  Carmen currently resides in North Carolina.


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