Pan Roasted Halibut with Wilted Butter Lettuce, Fresh Spring Peas, and Pine Nuts
- 1 cup stale bread, torn and soaked in water
- 1 cup pine nuts
- 1 1/2 cups plus 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 lemons, zest removed and reserved, juiced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- Kosher salt
- 4 (7-ounce) portions halibut fillet
- 1 head butter lettuce, washed and roughly cut into 1-inch strips
- 1 cup spring peas, blanched in salted boiling water for 1 minute
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
For the pine nut sauce: Drain the stale bread of any excess water but do not squeeze. In a blender combine bread, 1/2 cup pine nuts, 1/2 cup olive oil, lemon juice, 1/2 clove garlic, and 2 pinches salt. Place the blended mixture in a fry pan and hold over a low flame to warm.
For the bagna cauda: Over medium heat, warm 1 cup olive oil with the remaining 1 1/2 cloves garlic until just bubbling. Add the remaining 1/2 cup pine nuts and the reserved lemon zest. Remove from the heat and let stand.
Season the halibut fillets generously with salt and pat dry. In a large fry pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over a high flame until it begins to smoke. Momentarily remove the pan from the heat to avoid splattering and gently place fillets into the pan. Immediately return the pan to the heat and let cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Place the pan in the oven to continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes. In the meantime, heat another large pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil until a drop of water sizzles. Add the butter lettuce, peas, and a pinch of salt. Fry quickly until wilted, about 2 minutes.
Distribute the vegetables evenly in the center of 4 plates. Ladle the pine nut sauce around. Remove the fish from the oven and carefully flip each fillet, golden side up, onto the center of the plate. Generously spoon the bagna cauda over the fish and around the plate.
Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.
Recipe courtesy Daniel Holzman