Halibut! Salad! Who the hell am I?!


So the holidays are coming to a close.  You’ve gorged yourself on copious amounts of turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes laden with pounds of butter, holiday cookies, eggnog, and enough wine to make you endure your relatives.  You’re feeling the need for a wee bit of a break in the old indulgent department, if only to ensure your heart keeps ticking for 2012 (until the world ends, of course– what up, Mayans!).  So I’m going to help you out with one of my favorite stand-by recipes, a tried-and-true little dish I like to enjoy on those nights when I’m feeling rather beachball-esque.  It’s about as healthy as I get, really.  And if you promise to give it a try, I promise not to get all wholesome on you very often.  Deal?

Halibut with Caramelized Onion Tomato Relish and Pear, Brie, and Arugula Salad

Ingredients for the fish and relish:

4 6 ounce halibut fillets, skinned (not that hard to do yourself with a sharp knife, but if you bat your eyes at your fish monger, chances are he’ll do it for you)

1 large yellow onion, sliced

half a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp anchovy paste (don’t you dare omit this)

salt and pepper

Ingredients for the salad:

1 bunch or sack of arugula (you can substitute spinach here if you want, but arugula gives it a little spicy kick)

1 bosc pear, pitted and sliced

half a round of brie cheese, rind removed and sliced

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp orange marmalade (apricot marmalade works here too)

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

What to do:

Start your salad.  Whisk together the dijon, marmalade, and white wine vinegar.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.  Combine the arugula, pear, and brie in a large salad bowl.  Don’t dress the salad yet– wait until the last minute so it doesn’t get all soggy. Cuz soggy ain’t ever a good thing.

Start the relish. Heat a sautee pan over medium low heat with a tbsp of olive oil and a tbsp of butter.  Sautee the onion for 10 minutes so it gets soft. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper and sautee for another 5 minutes.  Raise the heat a little to medium and add the anchovy paste, letting it melt into the onions. Add the tomatoes and sautee until they start to burst, about 5 minutes.  Add the honey and lower the heat back down to medium low, letting the relish mellow while you get the fish going.

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat with a tbsp of olive oil and a tbsp of butter.  Season the fish with a little salt on both sides, and then sautee for 5 minutes on one side.  Flip and give it another 4 minutes on the other side for medium-well.  Dress the salad.

Top the fish with the caramelized onion and tomato relish and serve alongside the salad. Now go eat a cookie.


12 Comments Add yours

  1. Cat R says:

    This looks like it would be delicious (but healthy) comfort food!! Oh, I cannot wait to try this, but will have to wait the next time the boy is out of town. He doesn’t care for Halibut. I see myself enjoying this alone, by a fire, watching Stargate, with a glass (or more) of wine.

    What wine would you suggest to pair with this?

  2. Anika says:

    Sounds seriously delicious for a healthy option! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. Health food with a hefty amount of brie in it. Just what I like to see!

  4. Chrissy says:

    Oh man, that sounds so good! I just started Weight Watchers (*shhhh don’t tell my sweet tooth*) and will only survive if I can procure healthy but delicious recipes to consume (with cheese). 🙂 Happy New Year!

  5. Steve says:

    MMM anchovy paste. Sold! Only I would substitute the cherry tomatoes for the yellow pear tomatoes. But hey that’s me because I cannot eat red tomatoes (damn it – too much acid!!), and add a jolokia pepper (crazy – can eat unbelievably hot & spicy items, but not red tomatoes, go figure!). If I did that, then none of my family would eat it and there would be more (all) for me. Oh, then the name would change to Halibut!Salad! From Hell!! “If you know jolokia’s, like I know jolokias…”

  6. Brion says:

    Happy New Year kids.

  7. CobyLyn says:

    Yippee!! A new post! And a new way for me to make fish! Thank you 🙂

  8. Tamara says:

    Can’t wait to try it!! Thanks!

  9. Martin says:

    Thanks, JBS!

  10. Karyn says:

    Dear Jewel,
    Have you ever fried pears in brie?? If not, you’re missing out. Cut the pear in thin slices and fry it a bit first, so it gets all soft and cooked-looking, and then melt slices of brie on top and let it fry together for awhile. It’s deliciously gooey and goes great on top of some mixed greens.

  11. Martin says:

    Who, indeed, are the hell are you?

    ; )

  12. Erin says:

    I adore this recipe..
    And though the fish is fabulous (I didn’t have halibut, but mahi mahi was a great standin), the salad has become a quick and easy favourite. I keep a bottle of the dressing in the fridge at the ready!
    Thank you!!

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