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Grilled Halibut with Salsa Verde

Salsa verde, or “green sauce,” is served with many different types of meat and fish in Italy. Here, the sauce is served with grilled halibut, but it is also good with tuna, swordfish and other flavorful fish steaks. You can make the sauce up to a day in advance and refrigerate it. Bring it to room temperature before serving.

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

  • 2 cups firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves 
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • 1/4 cup crustless coarse country bread cubes 
  • 4 olive oil–packed anchovy fillets 
  • 2 Tbs. capers, rinsed and drained 
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 
  • Sea salt, to taste 
  •   
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for grilling 
  • 4 halibut fillets, each about 1 inch thick  
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Directions:

To make the sauce, in a food processor, combine the parsley, garlic, bread cubes, anchovies and capers. Process until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil in a thin, steady stream and process until combined. Transfer to a bowl, add the lemon juice and salt, and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill and generously oil the grill rack. Or, preheat a stove-top grill pan over medium-high heat and brush generously with oil.

Rub the fish steaks on both sides with the 2 Tbs. olive oil, and then sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Arrange the fish steaks over the hottest part of the fire or directly over the heat elements, or arrange on the grill pan. Cook the fish, turning once, until it is opaque throughout when tested with a knife, 5 to 7 minutes on each side.

Transfer the fish to warmed plates and serve immediately, accompanied with the sauce and lemon wedges. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007).