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Grilled Grouper with Quinoa, Asparagus, Mint, and Meyer Lemon Dressing

 Grilled Grouper with Quinoa, Asparagus, and Meyer Lemon Dressing

Grilled Grouper with Quinoa,  Asparagus, Mint, and  Meyer Lemon   Dressing

As the season for Meyer lemons comes to a close (peek season is November-April) , I feel like every time I see them at the market I should pick up a few…just in case they are gone the next time I shop.  meyer-lemon

What is a Meyer lemon exactly? A cross between a regular lemon and either an orange or a mandarin. They’re sometimes smaller than a regular lemon, rounder in shape, with a thin, soft, and smooth rind which has a rich yellow-orange when fully ripe. The rind lacks the typical lemon peel oil aroma and the pulp is darker yellow and less acidic than a regular lemon. The complex flavor and aroma hints of sweet lime, lemon and mandarin.   If you can’t find a Meyer lemon, you can add a bit of orange juice to regular lemon juice to mimic the flavor. Not quite the same, but will do in a pinch.

With Meyer lemons in hand, I picked up some fresh grouper from Yellow Umbrella Seafood (my favorite local fish shop) and decided to make a light, healthy dinner that would also work for my oldest daughter, who has been a vegetarian for three years.  Quinoa is my go to grain in a case like this….

Quinoa is a complete protein, which means that it has all nine essential amino acids. I love the versatility of this super grain.  Whether you prepare it savory or sweet, the texture is light and welcomes a myriad of flavors.

quinoa

I put my Myer lemons to work with some mint, shallots, and olive to create a lively little dressing for my quinoa salad.  Here is the recipe for you to try…

Grilled Grouper with Quinoa,  Asparagus, Mint, and  Meyer Lemon   Dressing

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 cups water

1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed

3 Roma tomatoes, diced

3/4 cup Feta cheese, crumbled

Zest and juice of 2 Meyer lemons

1/2 tablespoon minced shallots

2 tablespoons mint leaves , cut into a chiffonade

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 (6-ounce) grouper filets (or other firm white fish)

Bring  water to boil in a medium saucepan; add quinoa, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly.

Whisk together the Meyer lemon juice, shallots, mint, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil.

Meanwhile, heat grill to medium high and brush grate with oil. Place  asparagus directly on grill, cooking and turning asparagus as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Remove asparagus from grill and cut into 2-inch-thick pieces.  Add grilled asparagus, tomatoes and Feta to quinoa along with all but a few tablespoons of the dressing(reserve some to brush on the fish prior to grilling) and mix well. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Brush  grouper with reserved dressing and grill over a medium high flame for about 5-6 minutes per side, until opaque in the center.

Spoon quinoa salad in center of plate and top with grilled grouper

4 servings

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