Monday, August 8, 2011

Perfect Summer Dinner..

I bought some black lava sea salt last week and I've been dying to try it. So I headed to the fish market to see what they had. Red snapper. Perfect.

A stop at a local farm yielded purple tipped butter lettuce and yellow cucumbers for my salad, green beans for my side dish (I have broccolini already so I'm tossing a couple spears in with the green beans), and leeks for flavor. I also bought beets and used a few of the greens in my salad. I'm cooking the beets for later.

As much as I love great food, simplicity is key for me. Fish is always easy. Sautéing green beans takes minutes. And what could be easier than tossing a great dressing over some bright greens and voila, salad! The longest preparation is the rice which takes 45 minutes to cook. I used a long grain, black wild rice because I love the smoky flavor.

Here's all it takes:

  • olive oil
  • red snapper (I bought 1lb, 2 fillets, which equal 4 meals for me!)
  • leeks (I used the whole bulb of 1 leek)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 lemons, halved crosswise
  • purple tipped butter lettuce (choose any you like. I like the added color which is why I threw in some of the beet leaves)
  • 2 yellow cucumbers (much smaller than the typical green cucumber and sweeter too!)
  • lemon vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • olive oil
  • 3 - 4 cups of chicken stock (according to rice you choose, the package will say how much)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 of a medium sized onion, chopped (I love onions so I tend to use more)
  • green beans (depends on how many your cooking for. 1 handful is plenty for me)
  • broccolini (I simply threw in 2 spears for an added layer)
  • 1 cup of long grain rice
Let's Cook..
Start the rice first since it takes the longest. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Add the chicken stock and the rice. Cook for about 45 minutes and most of the stock has been absorbed.

While the rice is cooking, heat the oven to 400⁰F. In a large roasting pan, toss the leeks, lemons, garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and salt & pepper. Roast until the leeks begin to soften, about 6-8 minutes. Some of mine always char just a bit and I like that. We'll use some of this as topping for our veggies.

Season the snapper with salt & pepper and nestle in the leeks. Roast until the snapper is opaque, 10-12 minutes. (Roasting the fish is almost your last step since it only takes about 12 minutes. Time it close with the rice). Be careful with salting the fish. We will sprinkle on a bit of the black salt once it's done for a bit of drama!

To sauté the veggies, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the green beans, broccolini, salt & pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. It should be bright and crunchy.

The salad is just torn greens and yellow cucumbers, sliced.

To make the dressing:
Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the skin into a bowl and mash into a paste. Squeeze the
roasted lemon pulp and juice into the bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, chopped rosemary, and salt. Toss with the greens.

That's it. A perfect summer plate. Light, healthy, and healing. 

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