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Pan-Roasted Grouper with Carolina Gold Rice Salad

“My mom and I first made this recipe after visiting the beach in Charleston, South Carolina,” says Summer. “Every restaurant had the most delicious fresh fish. Before we left, we bought some grouper at a fish shack that had been caught that morning, and we took it home in a cooler. We also ate rice native to South Carolina, and we were able to find it in stores back home in Greenville. So we came up with this recipe to remind us of our trips to the beach!” - Summer LaPress, Age 9, South Carolina

Makes 8 Servings


For the Rice Salad:

  • 2 cups Carolina Gold rice or wild rice
  • 10 ounces baby spinach, stems trimmed and leaves roughly chopped
  • ½ red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 pint multicolor cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cups red grapes, halved

For the Vinaigrette:

  • ½ cup ruby red grapefruit juice
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Grouper:

  • 4 (4-ounce) grouper fillets or another firm fish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)  


  1. In a large stockpot, bring 12 cups of water to a boil over medium heat. Add the rice, bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Drain the rice in a colander and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, make the Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the grapefruit juice, balsamic vinegar, miso paste, salt, and pepper. Add the oil in a thin stream, whisking until emulsified. Reserve ¼ cup of the vinaigrette.
  3. Pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel and place on a plate or in a shallow dish. Sprinkle both sides of the fish with salt and pepper, and then brush both sides with the reserved vinaigrette. Marinate as you make the salad.
  4. When the rice is done, fluff with a fork and transfer to a very large bowl. Add the spinach, red onion, tomatoes, grapes and remaining vinaigrette, and toss.
  5. To cook the fish: Heat a heavy 10-inch nonstick or cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the canola oil. Place the fillets in the pan (skin side down if you're using fish with skin), laying them down away from your body. Reduce the heat to medium and let sizzle 2 to 3 minutes, or until the fish is golden. Carefully flip the fillets and add butter to pan, if using. Continue cooking until golden all over and cooked through, 1 minute more, depending on the thickness of your fish. Serve ½ a fillet with rice salad. 

561 calories; 23g fat; 46g carbohydrates; 33g protein

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