"John Granen"
Oil Poached Halibut with Spring Vegetables
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Oil Poached Halibut with Spring Vegetables

Greg Atkinson, Restaurant Marché, Bainbridge Island, Washington / May 2013

For 4 servings

Aïoli:

  • 1 lg. egg yolk
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place egg yolk, garlic, juice, and salt in a blender; blend until mixture is light and smooth; with motor running, gradually add oil; blend until emulsified and smooth; place in airtight container; cover; reserve in refrigerator.

Assembly:

  • 2 tsps. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground fennel seeds
  • 4 cups olive oil, plus more for vegetables
  • 4  6-oz. halibut fillets
  • 4 sm. blue potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2"-thick slices, and steamed
  • 1 beet, cooked, peeled, and cut into 16 wedges
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4" by 2" pieces
  • basil leaves (for garnishing)
  1. Mix salt, zest, sugar, and fennel seeds in small bowl; reserve.

  2. Heat 4 cups oil in enameled cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 200°F; reduce heat to low (adjust heat as needed to maintain oil temperature at 200°F); sprinkle halibut fillets with reserved salt mixture; gently lower into oil; cook until opaque and cooked through (about 10 minutes).

  3. While fish is cooking, pour just enough oil and water into large sauté pan to coat vegetables lightly; heat until hot; add potatoes, beet, and carrot; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through; remove from heat; reserve (keep warm).

  4. To serve, evenly divide vegetables among warm serving plates, arranging in attractive pattern; using a fish spatula, place a halibut fillet in center of each plate; spoon dollop of aïoli on top of each fillet; garnish with basil leaves.

What to drink: Bandol La Bastide Blanche 2009
Chef’s Note: Typically, halibut is cooked quickly—pan-seared, broiled, or baked in a very hot oven—but cooking the fish in a bath of extra-virgin olive oil, traps in the moisture as the fish comes up to temperature, resulting in a very satisfying texture.