Alaskan Halibut with Nicoise Vegetables

Halibut with Nicoise Vegetables

Tis the season for halibut from Alaska, officially opened March 12th 2011 with the first of the season arriving in San Antonio a week later.  Quota for this year is 11% less than last year, significant in price as well.  Although it is high cost, hopefully this will reduce in the coming months.  Probably a shorter season as well.  

This is a perfect simple summer dish. Excellence is preparing the fish and
the vegetables, proper blanching and mix gently in a bowl with the remaining
ingredients, juice of a lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper. The fish is seared
hard on one side, heavy bottom pan preferred, when there is color of a dark
golden brown, turn over and add small amounts of whole butter and the fresh
herb sprigs, tilting the pan gently allowing the butter to foam over low heat.
With a spoon, baste the fish with the melted herb butter for several minutes
careful not to burn the butter, add a squeeze of fresh lemon to the fish and serve
immediately over the ambient vegetables. 

Serves two

2 six ounce Alaskan Halibut fillets, block cut
2 ounce olive oil for searing the fish
fresh thyme sprig
fresh rosemary sprig
4 ounces whole, cold butter

Vegetables
2 each fingerling potatoes, blanched
2 each purple fingerling potato, blanched
1 ounce haricot vert, blanched
1 ounce yellow wax bean, blanched
1 each artichoke, braised and grilled
1 each fennel frond, marinated in lemon juice and olive oil
2 ounces fresh heirloom tomato, diced
1 T capers, fried crispy
6 nicoise or kalamata olives, pits removed
4 each Spanish white anchovy
4 spears of asparagus, blanched and bias cut
4 ounces arugula
sprig of fresh paresly, chopped fine
one lemon juiced
2 oz extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper

Mix all the vegetables together and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

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