Image courtesy of AGO
By Renée Bellefeuille, AGO Executive Chef
Greetings from the backyard. Summer is in full swing and when I’m not at AGO Bistro (now open Thursday through Sunday!) I’m firing up the grill. My hot weather go-to is Ontario rainbow trout, with a fresh herb-y drizzle. With its pinkish meat and mild, delicate taste, it’s an ideal summer meal, protein-rich with calcium, iron, vitamin A and selenium. It cooks in only 15 minutes, right on the grill. Most supermarkets now carry a variety of wild and farmed options. Or you can catch your own!
An ideal match? My kale and quinoa salad. The OG of superfoods, quinoa is a nutty-tasting gluten-free seed that’s been cultivated since 3000 BCE, while kale defends its newcomer status by being one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet. I like Dinosaur kale, otherwise known as strap kale, for this recipe. You can recognize it by its curly, wrinkled leaves and its sweeter taste. Staying outdoors? Simmer your quinoa on the BBQ – just be sure to use a cast-iron pot.
P.S.: Never fear fish skin. It’s super healthy and when fried or grilled over high heat, it gets crispy and helps fish cook evenly.
Grilled Trout with Herb-y Drizzle
Prep time: Remove fish from fridge 30-45 minutes prior to cooking
Cooking time: 15 minutes or to taste
- One filet of rainbow trout, skin on
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ bunch fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. sumac
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Drizzle trout lightly with olive oil and season with salt on both sides.
Heat grill to medium-high temperature, place fish skin side down.
Put the lid down on the grill and check every five minutes until flesh is cooked through. Flesh should appear flakey and opaque. Do not move the fish on the grill or try to turn it more than once. The whole cooking process should not take more than 15 minutes.
Once cooked through, remove fish from the grill and plate skin side down.
Combine herbs with oil and lemon. Whisk thoroughly. Let flavours combine for 10 to 15 minutes before pouring over fish.
Pour herb drizzle over fish, serve immediately. Any leftover herb drizzle will keep for up to five days in the fridge.
Kale and Quinoa Salad
Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- ¾ cup quinoa
- ½ bunch of dinosaur kale, stems removed
- ½ white cooking onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 6-8 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp.to use for onions)
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup fresh herbs (use only soft herbs like dill, parsley or tarragon)
- Salt and pepper
Prepare vegetables, chopping kale into bite-sized pieces.
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized pot.
Add quinoa and stir. Reduce heat immediately and let quinoa simmer.
Set a timer for eight minutes.
When timer goes off, add carrot and cook for an additional four minutes.
Remove pot from heat, strain and set aside.
Add 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil to a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion.
Sauté until golden brown in colour. Set aside.
In a large serving bowl, place prepared kale. Add the quinoa, carrot and onions.
Add fresh herbs of choice.
Prepare vinaigrette by combining Dijon mustard, sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt in a small mixing bowl. Stream in olive oil while whisking.
Pour half of the vinaigrette into the bowl with kale and quinoa. Season with salt and pepper.
Taste; if more vinaigrette is desired, add to salad. Otherwise, save the remaining vinaigrette for another green salad or batch of this kale and quinoa salad.
Eat chilled or at room temperature. Remaining vinaigrette can be saved and reused on any green salad.
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