Summer is finally here! This dish is light and perfect for the season. You won’t believe how easy it is to prepare! Start to finish, under 30 minutes. The presentation is beautiful which means you can whip this up for guests and they wouldn’t know you didn’t spend hours in the kitchen. You can make this meal for a luncheon party, a quick weeknight dinner or a late weekend brunch.
Serve with a chilled bottle of bubbles (because frankly, bubbles go with everything!), Chablis or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
Herb Crusted Halibut with Artichoke and Zucchini Tapenade
4- 5oz pieces of fresh Halibut fillets
1 Cup Italian Bread crumbs
½ cup cold water
1 Can (approx 14 ounces) of Artichoke hearts, drained and sliced in half
1 Zucchini, rinsed and chopped into ½ inch slices
2 Garlic cloves, peeled but whole
8 oz of fresh baby spinach, rinsed
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon (remove zest first then juice the lemon)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
Place a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add artichoke hearts, garlic, zucchini and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Sautee for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Transfer to a food processor and add the lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Taste and add salt or pepper if necessary. Set aside.
Bring the same skillet back up to medium high heat.
While you wait, take each fish fillet and one at a time dip lightly in cold water then roll in bread crumbs until fully coated. Set aside.
When the pan is hot add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Add fish fillets. Cook for 7 minutes. To get an even browning I place a lid that belongs to a smaller pot on top of the fish fillets. The lid acts like a press.
Flip halibut fillets over. Continue cooking for 5 more minutes. Cooking time will depend on thickness of filets. To check make a small cut in the center edge of the fish. It is cooked through when the flesh is the color of white snow. If it is opaque or translucent continue cooking another 3-5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Set fillets aside.
In the same hot pan add the last tablespoon of olive oil. Add the spinach. Toss in with the oil and continue moving the spinach around the pan. Spinach will wilt easily over heat. Just before all the leaves are wilted remove the pan from heat. Continue stirring the leaves. The heat in the pan will continue to cook the spinach. Once all the leaves are wilted but still bright green in color it is finished.
Place a small mound of spinach in the middle of the plate. Place a halibut fillet on top of the spinach. Top with a good dollop of artichoke tapenade. Sprinkle some fresh grated black pepper and the lemon zest on top.
Here are some additional tips for the dish:
* You can use any firm white fish. I love how light halibut is. You can also use cod or bass.
* For extra side dishes you can serve this with pureed potatoes. If you serve this dish for brunch I like to make sweet potato hash or fries. It adds a bit of the savory flavors we all associate with brunch.
* I dip the fish fillets in cold water instead of egg before coating with breadcrumbs. I find the egg unnecessary and I do not like the flavor of the egg on fish. The water does bind the crumbs enough to stay on the fillets.
All recipes © Laura Dove