Recipe courtesy of Shannon Kelly

Grilled Halibut on a Saffron Risotto Cake with Pea Tendrils and White Truffle Oil Vinaigrette

Save Recipe
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 12 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 2 min
  • Cook: 55 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Share This Recipe


Saffron Risotto Cake:

3/4 cup diced white onion

1/4 cup butter

10 ounces arborio rice

1 pinch saffron threads

1/2 cup white wine

1 quart chicken broth, simmering

2 tablespoons butter, for finishing the risotto

1 pinch salt

1 pinch ground white pepper

White Truffle Oil Vinaigrette:

1 small shallot, minced

1/4 cup verjus

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

3/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons white truffle oil

2 tablespoons fresh chives, sliced thin

Salt and pepper

Grilled Halibut wrapped with Leeks:

1 large leek, cleaned and halved lengthwise, root end trimmed off and trimmed to a length of 12 to 15 inches

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 (24-ounce) halibut fillet, about 12 inches long

8 (6-inch) bamboo skewers or long toothpicks

Canola oil

Pea Tendrils or Shoots:

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

8 ounces pea shoots or tendrils


  1. For the saffron risotto cake: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Sweat the onions in butter until transparent. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the saffron and white wine and stir until the wine is absorbed. Start adding the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, waiting for each addition to be absorbed before adding another 1/2 cup. Continue until the rice is just tender or "al dente". Add the butter, then season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and pour into a small, 2 inch deep pan, or put into ramekins, smoothing over the tops and put into a refrigerator until cold and set.
  3. If using the pan, cut the risotto into circles with a 2 3/4-inch biscuit cutter, if using ramekins, remove the rice carefully, retaining the disk-shape. Heat a saute pan and add 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Saute the rice cakes until golden brown on both sides. Put in the oven for 10 minutes over to insure the cakes are heated through.
  4. Preheat a grill.
  5. For the White Truffle Vinaigrette: Put shallots, verjus, and mustard into a glass bowl and stir together. Blend the oils together. Slowly whisk in the oils into the mustard-verjus mixture, constantly stirring to emulsify the dressing. Add the chives, and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Reserve at room temperature.
  6. Grilled Halibut wrapped with Leeks: Bring a pot of water large enough to hold the leeks to a boil. Add kosher salt. Cook the leek until just tender and immediately plunge into ice water. Drain well and cut into 1/2-inch wide strips at least 12 to 15 inches long.
  7. Cut the fish into strips 12 inches long about 1-inch wide and 1/2-inch thick. Roll up in a spiral and wrap with the leek strip. Secure with the skewers in a "x" fashion. Brush with canola oil and season with salt and pepper then place on a stovetop grill or BBQ and cook until just done about 4 minutes on both sides. Keep warm until service.
  8. For the Pea shoots: Heat a large saute pan and add the oil. When the oil just begins to smoke add the shallots and cook for 10 seconds. Add the tendrils and "stir fry" the pea shoots until they just begin to wilt. Do not over cook, you want them wilted but still crispy. They cook fast, so do this at the last moment.
  9. Assembly: Place the tendrils down first on a warm plate or large entree bowl, put the risotto cake in the center. Top with the grilled halibut and spoon the dressing over the pea tendrils and put a little on the fish. You can top the fish with some micro greens, lightly dressed or herb plush or nothing at all.