Sunday, April 15, 2007

Just For the Halibut ... yes, I went there

This week, even more than my usual weeks, was absurdly busy.

Monday through Friday were packed full with work, happy hours, and parties, and then my parents came to visit for the weekend to help me celebrate my birthday. We ate yummy food, I opened fun presents, and Fudge was extra spoiled by his grandparents. This morning D,M, and I took them to the Farmer's Market and enjoyed seeing our usual Sunday routine through new eyes. My parents just left, but the pile of fruits, veggies, and fish that we bought stayed here in Los Angeles.

Your weekly dose of Fudge. :)

Some of the bounty from today's visit to the Farmer's Market. From the left: asparagus, green beans, mixed salad greens, summer squash, spring garlic, Chinese spinach, and sugar snap peas.

I wanted to use some of these delicious fresh veggies for dinner tonight, along with the wild halibut that we also picked up at the Farmer's Market. I decided on a variation on Nicoise Salad, with halibut instead of tuna, roasted potatoes instead of boiled potatoes, and tapanade dressing instead of whole olives.

The meal turned out fantastically -- the halibut was tender, the potatoes crunchy-edged, the tomatoes tangy, the green beans crisp, and the olive dressing perfectly salty. Everything worked together wonderfully: the lemon juice in the dressing brought out the taste of the lemon zest in the halibut from the marinade, the bitter bite of the arugula contrasted with the sweet smoothness of the potatoes, and the crunch of the green beans highlighted the soft tomatoes.

Halibut a la Nicoise -- serves 4- 6


--1/2 lb mixed salad greens
--2 lbs halibut steaks, marinated in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon zest, and basil for approximately 4 hours
--1 lb roasted new potatoes (dice them into small chunks, toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs de provance, and bake until crispy - about 1 hour at 400 degrees)
--1 lb blanched fresh green beans (de-string them, break them in half, and boil them for about 2 minutes in heavily salted water, then spread them out to cool)
--10 basil leaves, chiffonaded
--2 large tomatoes, sliced into wedges (or 2 cups grape tomatoes)

--1 spring garlic shoot, white and green parts diced
--juice of one lemon
--4 tablespoons olive tapanade, best quality you have
-- 2 tablespoons chiffonaded fresh basil
--salt and pepper to taste
--splash of white wine or chicken stock


1) Grill the marinated halibut until just done, about 8 minutes on a medium hot grill

2) Layer the mixed greens, potatoes, tomatoes, basil, and green beans into a large salad bowl

3) Meanwhile, simmer the garlic shoot, lemon juice, tapanade, basil, salt, pepper, and wine or stock in a small sauce pan until garlic is soft (about 10 minutes).

4) Taste the dressing, adjust seasonings, and thin with extra wine or stock if needed

5) Top the salad with the halibut, break the fish into large pieces, and then pour the dressing over all. Toss to combine everything, wilt the greens, and distribute the dressing.


Capers and/or whole olives would be a good addition to this dish.

I like this salad on the light side, without a lot of extra olive oil. However, if you'd like a more decadent salad, drizzle olive oil over the entire dish. It is delicious served with a chunk of bread and a glass of wine. Enjoy!

Yummy roasted potatoes.

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