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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

roasted halibut with citrus olive tapenade

roasted halibut with citrus olive tapenade

In my quest to eat fish once per week (our previous trend of steak 3 times a night was probably more fun for me than my arteries), I've discovered the simple pleasure of this combination: olives and fish. Yes, really. This unique tapenade would work well on top of any white fish, either pan fried or roasted. If you have a very thin, skinless piece of fish, like tilapia, I would recommend just dusting it with flour and then pan frying it. Halibut is finally back in season, so I had to go with that, and since this is typically a much thicker cut of fish, roasting is my favorite method. It keeps the fish so tender and succulent, but still a little crispy outside.

Grocery list: handful of green olives, 1 navel orange, 1 lemon, a few sprigs of parsley, 2 garlic cloves, red wine vinegar, olive oil, fish (about 1 pound for 2 people).

citrus olive relish

Start by prepping the tapenade (it will only get better as the flavors steep later, when you're cooking the fish). Mince the garlic, zest the orange and lemon -- about 1 tsp of each. Finely chop the parsley. Over a bowl, so you can catch all the juice, start peeling the orange. You want to remove all the white pith, even the stuff inside in between pieces. Little bite size pieces of orange go in with the other ingredients. Add a splash of the reserved orange juice, a squeeze of 1/2 lemon (save the other half of the zested lemon for the asparagus, if you serve that on the side), and a little (1 T?) of red wine vinegar. Stir and set aside.

To roast the halibut, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, then heat a heavy skillet over med-high heat. Add a T olive oil and 1 T butter. Salt and pepper the fish, then dredge in just enough flour to coat. Cook skin side up for 4-5 minutes, until brown, then flip the fish over. Place in the oven and cook for about 10-12 minutes more.

When you remove the skillet from the oven, the fish should easily separate from the skin (if, like me, you don't like that part). Top with the tapenade to serve.

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