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Baked Halibut with Salsa Verde

If you prefer the sauce to have a mellower garlic and herbal flavor, you can blanch the garlic and herbs before combining them in the food processor. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the parsley and tarragon and cook just until wilted. Drain into a fine-mesh sieve and set the garlic and herbs aside to cool briefly.

Ingredients:

  • 4 halibut or salmon fillets, 1 1/2 lb. total, pin bones removed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbs. fresh tarragon leaves
  • 5 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. anchovy paste (optional)
  • 1 Tbs. white wine or sherry vinegar, or to taste

Directions:

Cook the halibut
Preheat an oven to 300°F. Oil a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold the fish fillets in a single layer.

Season the fish lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the fillets, skin side down, in the prepared dish. Bake until the fish is opaque throughout, about 8 minutes; start checking after about 5 minutes to avoid overcooking.

Prepare the sauce
In a food processor, combine the garlic, parsley, tarragon, olive oil, anchovy paste and the 1 Tbs. vinegar. Process until smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. Season with salt, pepper and more vinegar, if needed.

Transfer the fish to individual plates, top with the sauce and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Seafood, by Jay Harlow (Oxmoor House, 2007).