05/03/2012 02:55 EDT | Updated 07/03/2012 05:12 EDT

Roasted halibut with quinoa and vegetables perfect spring dinner choice

Using a blend of fresh vegetables, the tangy zest of lemon and the crunch of toasted almonds, this light, savoury halibut dish is a perfect spring entree.

Roasted Halibut

500 ml (2 cups) yellow quinoa

500 g (1 lb) asparagus, stalks cut into 6 pieces on the bias

1 l (4 cups) sugar snap peas, each cut into 4 pieces on the bias

500 ml (2 cups) shelled green sweet peas

1/2 lemon, zest and juice

1/4 bunch chives, finely chopped

1/4 bunch tarragon, finely chopped

90 ml (3 oz) extra virgin olive oil

6 halibut fillets (each 150 g/5 oz)

2 sprigs fresh dill

2 lemons, thinly sliced

125 g (1/4 lb) unsalted butter

50 ml (1/4 cup) white wine

250 ml (1 cup) toasted crushed whole almonds

Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 190 C (375 F).

Rinse quinoa thoroughly and place in a rice cooker with 750 ml (3 cups) water. Cook until tender and fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare a large bowl with ice water nearby.

Blanch asparagus, snap peas and sweet peas by placing them into the boiling water for about 1 minute. Strain and remove to ice water for another minute to stop the cooking. Drain well and set aside.

Remove quinoa from rice cooker, place in a large bowl and mix with lemon zest, chives, tarragon and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Season halibut with salt and pepper and place on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Place a sprig of dill on each piece of fish; layer each with 3 to 4 lemon slices and top with 5 ml (1 tsp) of the butter. Splash with white wine and bake, uncovered, for about 7 minutes.

While fish is cooking, brown remaining butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining lemon juice and blanched vegetables and toss quickly. Season to taste and add toasted almonds to vegetables.

To serve, arrange quinoa and fish on a plate and spoon vegetables around and over the fish.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 893 calories; 51 g protein; 51 g fat (13 g saturated fat); 60 g carbohydrate; 14 g fibre; 86 mg cholesterol; 177 mg sodium.

Source: Created by chef Anthony Rose of the Drake Hotel in Toronto for the Almond Board of California.