This seared trout and cherry quinoa salad makes for a great light & fresh lunch or dinner!
SEARED TROUT WITH A CHERRY QUINOA SALAD
6 trout fillets (about 5 ounces each, skin-on, scored)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
2 cloves garlic (smashed)
1 orange (zest, peeled into 1 inch strips with a vegetable peeler)
2 tablespoons tarragon leaves (roughly torn)
2 tablespoons butter
CHERRY QUINOA SALAD
1/2 cup red quinoa (rinsed)
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups cherries (pitted and halved)
1/4 cup almonds (toasted and roughly chopped)
1/2 cup scallions (thinly sliced)
2 cups baby arugula
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves (chopped)
1/2 orange (juiced)
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a baking dish, combine the white wine, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic cloves, orange zest and about 2 tablespoons of torn tarragon leaves. Whisk to combine. Reserve about a 1/4 cup of the marinade and set aside for later. Then, add the trout fillets to the baking dish with the marinade and flip to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let fish marinate for 20 minutes or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Remove the marinated fish to a cutting board. Dry the fish well with a paper towel. Season both sides of the fillets with salt and pepper.
Preheat a nonstick pan over high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted and just before the pan is about to start smoking, add a few of the seasoned fillets, skin-side-down into the pan. Allow the fish to cook for 2-3 minutes, while continuously basting with the butter mixture. The skin will become crisp and the flesh will be almost completely cooked through. Flip the fish to the flesh side and immediately remove the pan from heat. Sear for a few seconds, then remove to a serving platter or plate. Serve the trout skin-side-up and drizzle with a little reserved white wine marinade. Serve with the cherry quinoa salad.
For the Cherry Quinoa Salad: heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa and toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant and nutty, about 2 to 3 minutes.
To the pan, add the water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and cover with a lid. Allow the quinoa to cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and set aside to come to room temperature.
To a large mixing bowl, add the quinoa and set aside to cool slightly. Then, add the cherries, toasted almonds, scallions, arugula, 2 tablespoons of chopped tarragon, the juice of half an orange, honey, and olive oil. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.