Baked Halibut with Wine and Herbs
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 8 sprigs parsley
- 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
- 8 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 (1 pound) halibut steaks, 1 1/4-inch thick, from tail end of fish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup dry vermouth
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 12 cherry or pear, red and yellow tomatoes, for garnish
- Optional serving suggestion: Tapenade, recipe follows
- 1/2 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
In a medium gratin dish or baking dish, make a bed of herbs with the thyme, parsley and bay leaves, scatter the garlic on top. Reserve 4 parsley sprigs, for garnish. Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper and lay on top of the herbs. Add in the vermouth, and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the oil over the fish, cover loosely with foil. Bake until the fish is opaque, about 20 to 22 minutes.
Carefully, pour the pan juices into a small saucepan and set the fish aside. Keep the garlic and 4 thyme sprigs for garnish. Bring the sauce to a boil, over high heat, reduce by about 1/2, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside. De-bone the fish; running a spoon handle along each side of the center bone, then lift the bone out. Peel side off and discard. Divide fish steaks in half crosswise, among 4 serving plates. Pour sauce over fish and serve with a dollop of tapenade, if using, on top and garnish with the thyme sprigs, garlic, and tomatoes.
To make the tapenade: Combine the olives, oil, thyme, and lemon zest, stir to combine. Season with pepper and set aside.
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