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SEASONAL RECIPES

Recipe: Grilled salmon tops these veggie-filled quinoa bowls

Salmon and Quinoa BowlsSally Pasley Vargas

Serves 4

A grain bowl with quinoa, spinach, cucumber, carrots, and avocado, topped with grilled salmon, is a welcome change from the leafy green salads we've been eating for days in the midsummer heat. Cook the quinoa and add baby spinach leaves once you take it off the burner so they wilt just enough to be pleasing. Then fluff the light quinoa with a fork. Everything is tied together with a salty-sweet miso and ginger dressing. Serve the bowls chilled or at room temperature.

QUINOA AND SPINACH

1cup quinoa (red, white, black, or mixed)
2cups water
Pinch of salt
2cups packed baby spinach leaves

1. In a fine-meshed strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water for 30 seconds. Drain well.

2. In a saucepan, combine the quinoa, water, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to maintain a steady, gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 12 to 16 minutes, or until the germs (tiny spirals) separate and curl around the seeds and the water is absorbed. With a spoon, dig down to the bottom of the pot and check to see if the water has evaporated. If not, cook a few minutes more.

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Place the spinach on the quinoa and cover the pot with a lid. Let steam for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork, stirring in the spinach. Transfer to a large bowl and cool to room temperature.

SALMON

1piece (3-inches) fresh ginger, finely chopped
cup lime juice
1tablespoon white or yellow miso paste
2tablespoons honey
½teaspoon toasted sesame oil
¾cup vegetable or canola oil
Vegetable or canola oil (for the grill)
4 salmon steaks (cut 1 1/4-inches thick, each 5 to 6 ounces) or 1 1/4 pounds boneless salmon from the thick end, cut into 4 pieces
1 scallion, thinly sliced
½ English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
1large carrot, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 avocado, seeded, peeled, and cut into wedges
Sesame seeds (for garnish)

1. In a blender, combine the ginger, lime juice, miso, honey, sesame oil, and 3/4 cup vegetable oil. Blend until smooth and creamy.

2. In a baking dish, spread 1/3 cup of the ginger-miso dressing. Place the salmon steaks on top and turn them once to coat them. Let marinate until the grill is hot. (You will use the remaining dressing for the quinoa.)

3. Light a charcoal grill or turn a gas grill to medium-high. Brush the grill rack to clean it. With a wadded paper towel dipped into canola or vegetable oil, quickly brush the grill grates.

4. Grill the salmon steaks (covered on a gas grill, uncovered on a charcoal grill), without turning, for 2 to 4 minutes, or until they have grill marks. Turn the steaks and grill for 2 to 4 minutes more, or until they are cooked through. Remove and cool briefly. With your fingers, break the fish into chunks, removing the skin, and the bones if you cooked steaks.

5. Add the scallion, cucumber, and carrot to the bowl of quinoa. Drizzle 1/3 cup of the dressing over it and toss gently. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if you like.

6. Spoon the quinoa into bowls. Place avocado slices and salmon pieces on each and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle with more dressing and serve at room temperature or chilled with any remaining dressing.

Sally Pasley Vargas

Serves 4

A grain bowl with quinoa, spinach, cucumber, carrots, and avocado, topped with grilled salmon, is a welcome change from the leafy green salads we've been eating for days in the midsummer heat. Cook the quinoa and add baby spinach leaves once you take it off the burner so they wilt just enough to be pleasing. Then fluff the light quinoa with a fork. Everything is tied together with a salty-sweet miso and ginger dressing. Serve the bowls chilled or at room temperature.

QUINOA AND SPINACH

1cup quinoa (red, white, black, or mixed)
2cups water
Pinch of salt
2cups packed baby spinach leaves

1. In a fine-meshed strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water for 30 seconds. Drain well.

2. In a saucepan, combine the quinoa, water, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to maintain a steady, gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 12 to 16 minutes, or until the germs (tiny spirals) separate and curl around the seeds and the water is absorbed. With a spoon, dig down to the bottom of the pot and check to see if the water has evaporated. If not, cook a few minutes more.

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Place the spinach on the quinoa and cover the pot with a lid. Let steam for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork, stirring in the spinach. Transfer to a large bowl and cool to room temperature.

SALMON

1piece (3-inches) fresh ginger, finely chopped
cup lime juice
1tablespoon white or yellow miso paste
2tablespoons honey
½teaspoon toasted sesame oil
¾cup vegetable or canola oil
Vegetable or canola oil (for the grill)
4 salmon steaks (cut 1 1/4-inches thick, each 5 to 6 ounces) or 1 1/4 pounds boneless salmon from the thick end, cut into 4 pieces
1 scallion, thinly sliced
½ English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
1large carrot, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 avocado, seeded, peeled, and cut into wedges
Sesame seeds (for garnish)

1. In a blender, combine the ginger, lime juice, miso, honey, sesame oil, and 3/4 cup vegetable oil. Blend until smooth and creamy.

2. In a baking dish, spread 1/3 cup of the ginger-miso dressing. Place the salmon steaks on top and turn them once to coat them. Let marinate until the grill is hot. (You will use the remaining dressing for the quinoa.)

3. Light a charcoal grill or turn a gas grill to medium-high. Brush the grill rack to clean it. With a wadded paper towel dipped into canola or vegetable oil, quickly brush the grill grates.

4. Grill the salmon steaks (covered on a gas grill, uncovered on a charcoal grill), without turning, for 2 to 4 minutes, or until they have grill marks. Turn the steaks and grill for 2 to 4 minutes more, or until they are cooked through. Remove and cool briefly. With your fingers, break the fish into chunks, removing the skin, and the bones if you cooked steaks.

5. Add the scallion, cucumber, and carrot to the bowl of quinoa. Drizzle 1/3 cup of the dressing over it and toss gently. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if you like.

6. Spoon the quinoa into bowls. Place avocado slices and salmon pieces on each and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle with more dressing and serve at room temperature or chilled with any remaining dressing.Sally Pasley Vargas