Herbed Halibut with Rosemary-Lemon Butter

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    4

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Kitchen of Light: New Scandinavian Cooking

Kitchen of Light

By Andreas Viestad

Published 2003

  • About

THIS IS A RECIPE I ALWAYS RETURN TO, A VERY SIMPLE AND TASTY WAY TO STEAM FISH. IT IS GREAT FOR ENTERTAINING, AS YOU CAN PREPARE EVERYTHING IN ADVANCE AND JUST REHEAT THE BUTTER AND COOK THE FISH À LA MINUTE. IT’S JUST AS GOOD SERVED COLD, AND JUST AS EASY TO MAKE FOR SIXTEEN AS FOR FOUR PEOPLE.

Ingredients

  • Four ½-pound halibut steaks
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as thyme, tarragon, mint, sweet balm, and/or rosemary
  • 5 bay leaves, preferably fresh, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried or fresh marigold (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pesticide-free marigolds for garnish (optional)

Method

Rinse the fish under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.

Rub the halibut steaks on both sides with 2 teaspoons sea salt. Combine the 1 cup parsley, the chopped mixed herbs, four-fifths of the bay leaves, the marigolds, if using, and the garlic and rub onto both sides of the fish. Place the fish in a deep baking dish, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Pour the wine over the fish and cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the fish is opaque throughout and comes away from the bone when tested with a knife.

Transfer the halibut to a platter and cover to keep warm. Pour the pan juices into a small saucepan and reduce over medium heat to about ¼ cup.

Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter until it bubbles enthusiastically. Add the finely chopped rosemary, thyme, and the remaining bay leaves. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the butter and let it melt, then add the tarragon, the remaining 2 teaspoons parsley, and the lemon zest. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes; do not boil. Add the lemon juice, the reduced marinade, and salt and pepper to taste. Strain the sauce and discard the herbs.

Brush off the herbs from the fish. Place a halibut steak on each plate, and place a marigold, if using, on the side. Pour a little rosemary-lemon butter over each halibut steak and serve.

Variation

When increasing the quantity of fish, you do not need to increase the amount of wine and herbs accordingly. Use enough herbs to cover the fish and enough wine to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake until the fish is opaque throughout and comes away from the bone when tested with a knife. If you are cooking a large halibut, you should use an instant-read thermometer; the fish is done when the interior temperature has reached 125°F.

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