Halibut with Roast Baby Gem Lettuce

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Although Atlantic halibut are over-fished, abundant Pacific halibut are available from Alaska. Cooking the Baby Gems in this way, rather like the Italians do with radicchio, brings out the innate sweetness that makes them perfect to serve with fish.

Ingredients

  • 100 g butter, plus an extra knob for the lettuces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 halibut steaks on the bone, each about 200 g
  • 4 whole Baby Gem lettuces, halved lengthwise
  • Splash of Noilly Prat or dry vermouth
  • Sprig of rosemary, chopped
  • About 6 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (double) cream
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Method

Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas 2.

In a large non-stick frying pan, heat the butter and olive oil until hot. Season the fish with salt and lightly colour the steaks on both side in the pan, basting as you go. Lower the heat and continue cooking, still gently basting. When cooked, leave to rest in the pan and keep warm.

In another non-stick pan, melt the knob of butter with a slug of olive oil over a highish heat and colour the lettuce halves on their flat cut sides. Add a splash of Noilly Prat, the herbs, garlic and seasoning, and bake in the preheated oven until tender, 10–15 minutes.

Now lift the fish and lettuce halves on to serving plates. Add the fish cooking liquor to the lettuce cooking liquor, mix in the double cream and boil to reduce it to a good sauce consistency. Adjust the seasoning, add a squeeze of lemon juice, spoon over the fish and serve.

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