This is a great show-off dish that doesn’t require very much effort at all. I think the contrast of the hot fish with the cool broccoli puree is fantastic, but you can warm the puree in the microwave if you prefer.


  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thin slices pancetta
  • 1 cup coffee
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 skinless halibut fillets, 4 to 5 ounces each
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Cut the broccoli into small florets and slice the stems very thin. Blanch the broccoli in the boiling water for 30 seconds, then drain and plunge in the ice water. Once cool, drain the broccoli and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the yogurt, sour cream, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and refrigerate to preserve the broccoli’s bright green color.

Place a skillet over medium heat and add the pancetta slices. Cook until crisp, then drain the pancetta on paper towels, leaving the rendered fat in the skillet. To make the red-eye gravy, whisk the coffee into the pancetta fat and cook over mediumhigh heat for 5 to 7 minutes to reduce slightly, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Once hot add a 2-count of olive oil. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper, and place in the hot pan. Cook without moving the fillets for 3 to 4 minutes, or until a nice brown crust begins to develop. Turn the fish seared side up, add the butter and thyme to the pan, and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for 6 to 8 minutes, until the fish is firm and starting to flake around the sides. Transfer the fillets to a warm plate, seared side up, and keep warm.

Heat a 2-count of extra-virgin olive oil in a small skillet or saucepan. Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the capers and fry until crispy, about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the crispy capers to paper towels to drain.

Spoon a nice big dollop of the chilled broccoli puree onto the center of each plate. Place a halibut fillet on top, seared side up, and add a piece of pancetta, a thyme sprig, and some fried capers to each plate. Reheat the red-eye gravy if necessary and spoon a few tablespoons around the broccoli puree.