SNAPPER WITH BLOOD ORANGE QUINOA
My father was born on the Greek island of Paros. He lost his father at a very young age and his mother sent him to work so he could provide for the family. Living on an island there were not many opportunities so at 15 years old, he lied about his age and enrolled in the navy. I couldn’t image sending my son at such a young age out to sea but those were “different times”. It was here that my father fell in love with the sea and he made sure his children loved it too. Every week he would take us to the beach and taught us how to fish. Wherever there was a body of water with the slightest chance that a fish would be swimming there, he would be there with his 14ft rod. Mum was always nearby using her hand reel to fish and before I had an opportunity to sit, they would both pass a rod or a reel my way.
Looking back, I realise that going fishing was not just a hobby for dad, but a planned and prepared event. It was as a time for him to learn patience and unplug. It was a time to breathe, take in the beauty of nature whilst drinking coffee from his thermos. It was a time to connect with mum by doing something that was not work related. It was a time to create a shared experience with us kids and it was a time to celebrate success because nothing was more pleasing than bringing in a glorious catch. I can still hear my dad yelling at his most loudest voice “Come Vaso! It’s a big one! Bring the bucket!”
So every time I cook fish (and I really do mean every time) I always think back to those days that we would spend hours chatting, eating, drinking coffee and waiting for that Snapper to come in.
Though different to the way we cooked fish when my dad was still with us (never fillet - always the whole fish), this is one of the ways my husband enjoys snapper. Simple yet delicious. Enjoy x
4 pieces Snapper Fillets
1 cup quinoa
1 cup broccoli florets, cut into very small pieces
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
1 red onion, diced
2 tbs olive oil + 2 tbs olive oil for frying
2 tsp thyme leaves
Juice of lemon
Sea salt + Pepper
2 tbs olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon or blood orange (if in season)
1 tsp honey
Season snapper fillets with sea salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and leave in the fridge while you cook the quinoa salad.
Prepare dressing. Combine all ingredients and whisk. Set aside.
Rinse quinoa and strain. Add to pot and cover with 2 cups of boiling water. Simmer over low heat until all the water has been absorbed. Once absorbed turn off heat and leave in pot until needed. In the meantime cook the sweet potato and broccoli.
Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a frying pan and add the sweet potato. Fry over medium heat, stirring occasionally until all sides are golden. Add the broccoli florets, red onion, sea salt and pepper and continue to stir, cooking for a further 2 minutes.
Add the quinoa and stir through well. Turn off heat. Add salad dressing over quinoa and stir through. Pour quinoa salad into serving platter and cover with cling wrap to keep warm.
In the same frying pan that you cooked the quinoa, add 2 tbs olive oil and cook the snapper fillets on high heat until crisp (approx. 3 minutes each side).
Place fillets over the quinoa salad. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the fish and garnish with fresh parsley leaves.