Fresh-caught fish paired with bright lime-infused cilantro pesto brings out the best of the Pacific coast. At Mirador in the Arenas del Mar Resort, red snapper is plated on a bed of quinoa pilaf with cilantro pesto drizzled artistically on top and around the fish for an elegant casado-style meal. This dish can also be served fuss-free and family-style; let each person arrange their own plate. If you can’t have fish, replace the red snapper with pan-seared or grilled boneless chicken breast.
Food editor Beth Hillson is a chef and cooking instructor. She is founder of Gluten-Free Pantry, one of the first gluten-free companies in the United States, and author of Gluten-Free Makeovers and The Complete Guide to Living Well Gluten Free (Da Capo Lifelong).Yields 4 servings
- 2 large bunches fresh cilantro, about 3 cups of leaves (not packed)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1-2 pinches of salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 1 1⁄3 pounds red snapper, striped bass or similar white flesh fish filets, cut into 4 portions
- Quinoa Pilaf
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1To make cilantro pesto, wash cilantro, remove leaves and pat them dry between paper towels. Place leaves in a food processor and process about 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and lime juice. Process until smooth. Add salt and blend. Set aside to serve with red snapper.
2To prepare red snapper, place 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter in a pan and warm over medium heat. Add 4 pieces of snapper, skin-side down, and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes. Turn the fish and sauté the other side until browned, about 3 minutes (internal temperature should register 125°F).
3To serve, plate each piece of fish with Quinoa Pilaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with cilantro pesto.