Fish called sole, flounder, turbot, and halibut all belong to the same unique family of flatfish. These fish all have oval shaped bodies, dark on top, light on bottom and odd looking eyes on the same (top) side of their heads. They are bottom dwellers, propelling themselves with a wave like motion along the sandy bottom of the sea. With the exception of halibut, most are small, from 1 to 20 pounds. Halibut however, can be as large as 300 pounds, most being harvested in the 80 to 100 pound range.
True halibut are very large flat fish found on both coasts of the United States. Pacific halibut are found from the northern coast of California to the Bering Sea. The Atlantic halibut is found from Canada, Iceland and Norway, and is less abundant than the Pacific variety. Both have a firm white flesh with a superb taste and a mild flavor. Versatile, it can be baked with heavy spices, or simply broiled with lemon and butter.
Baked Halibut with Green Olive Tapenade
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 5 oz pitted green olives
- ½ cup toasted whole almonds
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest.
- 4 halibut fillets, 6-8 oz each
In one tablespoon of olive oil, sauté onion until tender. Rinse olives and drain. Combine with remaining ingredients in food processor, and coarsely chop.
Spread 2-3 tablespoons of sauce on each halibut fillet and bake 10-14 minutes until fish tests done with a fork. Serves four
Warm Halibut Summer Salad
- 1 pound Halibut fillet cut in 1inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups torn Romaine lettuce
- 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 oranges, in cleaned segments
- ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tbls lemon juice
- 2 tbls honey, 1 tsp. orange zest
- ½ tsp. fresh grated ginger, salt/pepper to taste
Whisk dressing ingredients together. Toss halibut cubes with 2 tbls dressing. Sauté cubes in one tbls olive oil until cooked through. Toss oranges and beans with remaining dressing and arrange on lettuce on four plates. Top with warm halibut cubes and fresh croutons. Serves four.
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