Sumac-downPosted: December 6, 2010
As the days heat up and the sun stays out for longer, I find myself craving lighter food. Gone are the cravings for stews and soups and I am suddenly bludgeoned by my desire for seafood, salads and anything citrusy. I still wouldn’t say no to pork but I have been having less and less of that these days.
Actually, I’ve been eating lots of greasy pizzas and junk food because I’ve been lazy and I’ve been out a lot. I actually attended Stereosonic this year and rocked out with my c**k out, so to speak! So on Saturday I think I had a chocolate croissant (so good!), half a gourmet sausage, a Nando’s burger with oversalted fries and had dinner at 11 p.m. of… pizza. Healthy as ever! I’m convinced that with the amount of sweat I produced that day and the amount of energy I burned just by standing in the sun all day, those calories don’t count. Cough.
Thankfully, I did hit up the market on Friday (officially my favourite day to go marketing) and I went a little bit berserk. I forgot how awesome summer produce is. So many types of fruits! Vegetables! All the vibrant colours and lush greens! I was picking fruits up and sniffing them! I was grinning at all the vendors! I bought so many things, I blew my budget hard out of the water that now I don’t even want to look at my bank balance. Summer is a cook’s dream. Amazing produce that I used to fantasize about.
To satisfy my craving for fish, I made this awesome dish and it introduced me to two amazing ingredients that I had yet to touch: sumac and quinoa. Verdict on both of those: Lovelovelove!
I nabbed this particular recipe off the latest issue of Delicious, their 100th issue. It’s a really good one so buy it if you haven’t yet.
Sumac-Spiced Barramundi with Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Delicious December 2010/January 2011 issue
1/2 cup quinoa
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Lebanese cucumber, cut into matchsticks
60g pitted green olives, sliced
1 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Seeds of 1/2 a pomegranate
1. Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions – mine said cook with 200ml of water but I ended up needing a little more than that. Drain and cool completely.
2. Whisk together lemon juice and oil, then season, Toss cooled quinoa in a bowl with dressing and remaining ingredients. Set aside.
Sumac-Spiced Barramundi and Avocado Puree
1/2 avocado, chopped
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp sumac
2x180g barramundi fillets, skin on but deboned
2 Tbsp olive oil
15g unsalted butter
1. Place avocado, emon juice, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, tahini, cumin and 1 tsp sumac in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Set aside.
2. Season barraundi with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with remaining sumac. Heat olive oil in a frypan over medium heat. Cook fish, skin side down, for 2 minutes or until the skin is crisp. Carefully turn the fish, then add the butter. Cook the fish, basting with melted butter for a further 2-3 minutes until cooked through.
3. Serve by spreading a dollop of avocado puree on a plate, then topping with barramundi fillet and the quinoa salad.
One of my favourite parts of the dish was the quinoa salad. I love pomegranates in salads but this was just awesome. The balance of flavours was impressive and I made more than enough salad for four but between two of us, we ate it all.
I still have leftover avocado puree which I am uncertain what to do with but I wouldn’t mind making an encore performance of this dish at all!
Sumac can’t be found in supermarkets so hit up a deli if you want some. I highly recommend it too because it tastes just like the visible flavours on Arnott’s Shapes! Mmm, sumac!