When winter swiftly comes, food more often than not becomes hearty. Ingredients such as beetroot, leeks and carrots are an ideal combination for a wonderful accompaniment to lightly grilled rock-fish. I hear you say rock-fish…well they are a fantastic fish, such as bass like fish, snapper or rock cod. They are firm and delicate, many of them are eaten in Asia and can handle strong, robust flavours.

Eating fish in the winter is great, especially when your day has been uplifting, energetic or revitalising. I’m sure many of you wouldn’t want to come home and eat something heavy, especially when you can enjoy something delectable and light to avoid the feeling of stodge.

It’s funny how food can change your sense of what you crave and either make you feel; invigorated or puffy! However this dish is the perfect example of celebrating a day, when you feel on top of the world and the fact that your day couldn’t have gone any better. Eating salads, doesn’t have to be boring, I mean beetroot shouldn’t have to be used as a pickle! If you have a strong flavoured dressing, the beetroot can handle it more than any other vegetable. It’s deep, intense colour adds a little something extra to any dish.

Serves 1
Shopping list:

1 cod fillet
½ cup quinoa
½ a carrot, shredded or cut into thin strips
½ a beetroot, shredded or cut into thin strips
½ an apple, shredded or cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 vegetable stock cube
Salt to season
Pepper to season
Parsley, small handful, roughly chopped
Chives, small handful, roughly chopped

Method:

Preheat the oven to 190˚C/ 375°F/ Gas Mark 5.

Firstly, prepare a simple vinaigrette with a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and slowly add the olive oil while beating with a hand whisk (1 part vinegar to 2 parts olive oil). You will notice the consistency combing together into a delicious thickness. Once thickened, set aside.

Set up three bowls to place the apple, carrot and beetroot. Cut the apple (with skin) in fine strips either with a knife or with the help of a mandolin. Do the same with the carrots and beetroot. Place the shredded carrot, beetroot and apple into the separate bowls and drizzle part of the vinaigrette dressing over each of them and set aside at room temperature.

In a saucepan boil 3 cups of water and add in the vegetable stock cube. Meanwhile place the quinoa into a bowl and cover with water, with a manual hand whisk/ egg beater vigorously whisk for about 1 minute to clean out any dirt. Drain the water and place the quinoa into the boiling water. Boil as per the instruction on the packet, which is normally 12-15 minutes.

Cut the cod into bite size pieces and place on a suitable non-stick oven tray. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the remaining vinaigrette, sprinkle with chopped parsley and cook in the oven for 7-10 minutes.

Once the fish is cooked, place the beetroot on the bottom of plate and top with carrot, pieces of fish, spoonfuls of quinoa and apple and repeat the process again.

Garnish with chopped chives and season with any remaining juice of the fish and serve.

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