Monday, September 3, 2012

Halibut With Fresh Herbs and Roasted Cauliflower Puree

I love potatoes, and mashed potatoes specifically, but I don't love working out. So what is the next best thing? Cauliflower that is much healthier, but TASTES like mashed potatoes.  So tricky! Yum! This dinner can serve 2 or 4. The puree and herb sauce make plenty for 4, you just have to buy more fish to accommodate more guests. I also love me some Halibut, especially in the summer because it's light and can be paired with lots of different sides. This is a really easy summer dinner, and if you made the herb sauce and cauliflower in advance, it would literally take 10 minutes. If not, it's still under an hour. The herbs with capers and citrus cut through the (faux) richness of the cauliflower, and the Halibut just pulls it all together. The bright green sauce also looks really fresh and vibrant. I can't pretend I don't care what my plate looks like, I like some color people! Check out the recipe after the jump. 

Halibut with Fresh Herbs and Roasted Cauliflower Puree (Serves 2-4)
You will need:
Roasted Cauliflower Puree
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, florets only, cut into small (1.5 inch) pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 T cream cheese
  • 2 T grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T minced chives
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare cauliflower by breaking down florets. Toss with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and turn onto a baking sheet. Roast for about 15-20 minutes or until very tender. While warm, place in bowl of food processor, puree until almost smooth. Add cream cheese, puree until smooth. Add Parm and chives and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep warm and covered until ready to serve. Get ready to prepare the herb sauce.

Fresh Herb Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 T capers
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
This is so easy and can be made ahead. In a blender or food processor, add the herbs, garlic, lemon juice, zest, olive oil and blend until a smooth sauce forms. Add capers, and puree again. Taste at this point, because the capers are salty, and  you don't want to over salt. I mean I do, but you might not! Adjust seasoning and chill until ready to use. 

  • 1 lb halibut, skin on, cut into two equal portions, or one man (10 oz) and one woman (6 oz) portion. 
Pat the halibut fillets dry and season with salt and black pepper. I use a medium, non-stick saute pan and don't put more than two fillets in at a time. They need room. Heat 3 T of olive oil on high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, place the fillets in the pan and cook about 2 minutes per side for portions this size. They should be golden brown when you flip them. Transfer to the baking sheet and finish in the oven about 5-6 more minutes. Halibut is done when it is opaque, begins to flake and the layers become distinct and begin to separate.

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