From the Chronicle Kitchen
The Wine and Food Lover’s Diet by Phillip Tirman, M.D.
Roast Halibut with Spinach Salsa
This pretty, green variation of a tomato salsa tastes great with any roasted, seared, or sautéed fish. In one recipe, you get two parts of your Meal Planning Trilogy dinner: a protein and a Super-Savvy Carb. Halibut is a source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
2 cups well-rinsed baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber (1/4-inch dice)
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 halibut fillets (about 5 ounces each)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or canola oil
To make the salsa: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare a bowl of ice water. Stir the spinach into the boiling water and cook just until the color brightens and the leaves wilt, about 1 minute. Drain the spinach and plunge into the ice water. Drain again and squeeze the spinach with your hands to remove the excess water. Roughly chop the spinach.
Place the spinach, oil, and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into a bowl. Fold in the shallots, cucumber, and cilantro (if using). Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. You will have about 1 cup. The salsa can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, but is best if made within several hours of serving.
To make the fish: Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels and lay them on a plate. Season both sides with the salt and white pepper.
In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, warm the grapeseed oil until it is very hot. Add the fillets and cook until brown on the first side, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook on the second side until browned, about 2 minutes. Immediately place the pan in the oven and cook until the fish is opaque throughout and flakes when tested with a knife but is still moist, about 7 minutes. The timing will depend on the thickness of the fillets.
Transfer the fillets to 2 warmed plates. Spoon a generous amount of salsa over and beside the fillets, and serve.
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