Wheatless Wednesday – Roasted Halibut with Lemon, Tomatoes and Capers

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How about a delicious, gourmet dinner in less than half an hour?  My husband came home from the farmer’s market the other day with a beautiful piece of halibut.  I didn’t realize until just before dinner, when all eyes turned to me,  that I was supposed to come up with an interesting preparation for it.  A quick look through my refrigerator and pantry yielded a can of diced tomatoes, fresh herbs, capers, white wine and a lemon from my tree. I combined all those ingredients into a chunky sauce which I poured over the fish and roasted it in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. It couldn’t have been easier or faster – almost instant gratification!  The fish was flakey and tasty. It would be great served on a bed of spaghetti to soak up the flavorful sauce. Yum!

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We have all heard that fish is good for you.  There are many reasons to eat halibut beside it’s mild and delicious flavor. It is a lean, meaty white fish that is low in sodium, fat and calories and rich in nutrients, including Omega 3 fatty acids, folic acid and B vitamins plus minerals like selenium, potassium, magnesium and niacin that are otherwise difficult to come by naturally.  Halibut is also a good choice when considering the environment. ,According to Seafood Watch California halibut are either a “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative,” depending on the fishing method. Most Atlantic halibut is overfished, so it’s on the “Avoid” list. The exception is farmed Atlantic halibut. It’s a “Good Alternative” because it’s raised in closed tank systems that have little impact on local habitats. The Marine Stewardship Council certifies some of the Pacific halibut fisheries as sustainable.

ROASTED HALIBUT WITH LEMON, TOMATOES AND CAPERS

1 lb halibut steaks
1-2 Tbsn olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons capers
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs (flat-leaf parsley, oregano, marjoram or basil) chopped or 1 tsp dried Italian Seasoning
1 can diced tomatoes

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  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish. Rinse and pat dry fish and place it in the baking dish. You can leave the fish in one large piece or cut it into individual serving sized pieces. Brush fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

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  • Combine all other ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the top of the fish.

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  • Roast in hot oven until just opaque, about 10 – 12 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.  Fish should flake easily with a fork.  Serve with juices and more fresh herbs, if desired.

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Roasted Halibut with Lemon, Tomatoes and Capers

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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1 lb halibut steaks
1-2 Tbsn olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons capers
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes

  • Pre -heat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish. Rinse and dry fish and place it in the baking dish. You can leave the fish in one large piece or cut it into individual serving sized pieces.
  • Brush fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Combine all other ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the top of the fish.
  • Roast in hot oven until just opaque, about 10-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.  Fish should flake easily with a fork.  Serve with juices and garnish with more fresh herbs, if desired.

 

Pan Roasted Halibut with Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc

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You know when you’re at a restaurant and have just polished off a dish with a sauce so delicious that you come darn close to licking your plate?  Well this is that sauce.  Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc is buttery and slightly creamy with the perfect lemon tang and carmelly wine finish.  Yum!   I could pretty much eat it on anything (or even by itself standing by the stove on the pretense of testing it, but don’t tell).  I paired it with a mild halibut which I pan roasted and then quick sautéed power greens in the same pan to pick up any remaining flavors.  I added orange and grapefruit segments to the greens and topped them with the pan roasted fish, then drizzled the whole thing with the lovely Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc.  Mmmm…

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Fish is delicious, especially when cooked to perfection with a light golden crust and the perfect flake, but this recipe is really all about the beurre blanc.  The recipe, which I adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, August, 2014 Good & Fresh magazine, doesn’t use loads of heavy cream like so many recipes, just one tablespoon of cream or yogurt, wine, shallots and butter, which we now know is a healthy fat, not the enemy as we have been told all these years.  So whisk away!  This sauce is definitely worth the ten or fifteen minutes it takes.  The only problem is you’ll be trying to figure out what else you can put it on…

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When you’re at the market choosing which fish to buy, be aware that not all fish is raised naturally and without added chemicals.  If you are eating fish as a healthy alternative, this is something to think about.  I am a big believer in voting with my pocketbook.  I prefer to buy ‘live caught’ fish to support local fisherman rather than the factory farming industry.  The farm raised fish industry, in some countries, is very questionable with the fish being fed unmentionables along with  antibioltics and other things to counter the crowded horrible conditions. The best choice is to buy Sustainable Seafood which includes caught or farmed fish that whose purveyors take into account the health of the species and the oceans.  If you aren’t sure you can check out Seafood Watch which has a website and an app that tells you if the fish you are going to buy is a good choice or not.

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  • Prepare your fruits and vegetables before you start cooking.

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  • Then make the Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc (recipe below) and set aside covered to keep warm.

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  • Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper and add to the pan.  Cook until the fish is golden and turn to cook the other side, 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove the fish to a plate and cover loosely with foil.

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  • Add another Tablespoon oil to the pan if necessary and toss in half the scallions. the vinegar and the greens.  Saute about a  minute just until they start to wilt.

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  • Remove skillet from heat and add grapefruit and orange segments.  Divide among four plates and top each with a piece of fish. Briefly reheat the beurre blanc, if necessary, and drizzle over the top of each plate. Garnish with remaining scallions and lemon zest. Serve immediately.

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Pan Roasted Halibut with Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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4 5 oz skinless halibut, cod or sea bass filets
2 Tbsn olive oil
salt and pepper
1 Tbsn cup white wine vinegar
4 cups mixed greens (baby kale, chard, arugula or spinach)
1 orange, peeled and sectioned
1 pink grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
1/4 cup scallions, sliced into thin julienne, or snipped chives
1 Tbsn lemon zest (optional)

  • Prepare your fruits and vegetables before you start cooking.  Then make the Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc (recipe below) and set aside covered to keep warm.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper and add to the pan.  Cook until the fish is golden and turn to cook the other side, 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  • Remove the fish to a plate and cover loosely with foil.
  • Add another Tablespoon oil to the pan if necessary and toss in half the scallions, the vinegar and the greens.  Saute about a minute just until they start to wilt.
  • Remove skillet from heat and add grapefruit and orange segments.  Divide among four plates and top each with a piece of fish.
  • Briefly reheat the beurre blanc, if necessary, and drizzle over the top of each plate. Garnish with remaining scallions and lemon zest. Serve immediately.

Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc
1 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, not sweet)
1/4 cup lemon juice (Meyer lemon preferably)
2 large shallots, minced
1 Tbsn cream or yogurt
12 Tbsn cold butter, cubed

  • To make Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc, combine shallots, wine and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered until the liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons. Stir in cream or yogurt and turn heat to low. Whisk in butter one cube at a time until a rich sauce forms. Remove from heat and set aside.