When summer produce starts pouring in the grocery stores, I get kind of giddy. Like kid in a candy store kind of giddy. All the bright colors of fresh, succulent fruit and ripe, farm-picked vegetables start calling to me all at once. I want to buy everything! But I try to resist this urge and focus. Must focus.
My fiancé was out of town earlier this week, so I walked into the grocery store without a plan, prepared to be inspired by whatever produce looked best. Into my basket went a Ruby Red grapefruit and avocado. I don’t know why but the grapefruits looked stunning. Absolutely stunning.
Earlier this week I had resolved to eat more fish (more on that another day), so I meandered over to the fish counter and struck up a conversation with the fish-guy and he recommended the turbot. I’ve never eaten turbot, so I just had to trust his judgment. He said it was like Sea Bass. He was absolutely right: Turbot was thick, substantial and rich but without the side of guilt (or ridiculous price tag) that I get when eating Sea Bass. Don’t you just love Whole Foods?
When I got home I opened up my newly organized spice cabinet and starting pulling bottles out with abandon. The ensuing recipe I created is flavorful but it still lets the three key ingredients shine: avocado, grapefruit and turbot. It is easy but refined enough for company.
1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds (if you don’t want that crunch, then use ground)
½ teaspoon fresh sqeezed lime juice
1 T fresh chopped cilantro
Pan Seared Turbot
¾ lb turbot filet, skinless
fresh ground pepper
pinches chili powder
¼ cup dry white wine
Grapefruit – Avocado Salsa
Combine all ingredients through lime juice. Refrigerate while you prepare fish. Once fish is cooked, remove “salsa” from refrigerator and mix in cilantro.
Pan Seared Turbot
Delicately pat filet(s) dry and season with salt, pepper and chili powder. I use about a ¼ teaspoon pepper and 2 pinches salt. Heat a stainless steel pan over medium heat. Melt butter in pan. Pick the prettiest side of fish to be your “presentation” side and sear that side first. Once it is a golden brown, flip the filet and sear the other side. Pour wine into the pan and over the fish and add the lime slices to the pan so that they are cooked in the wine. Continue to cook over medium heat until the turbot flakes easily with a fork and is opaque in the center. Continue to spoon the wine / pan juices over the fish as it cooks. The time will vary greatly by the size of your filets.
Spoon a generous helping of the Grapefruit-Avocado Salsa over each serving of turbot.
Because I am a woman obsessed, I chose another White Burgundy. This particular selection is inexpensive and is good enough to drink and cook with. A week in the refrigerator actually improved its taste. I found this particular gem at Whole Foods.