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Halibut with Braised Escarole and White Beans

Here, the classic combination of escarole and white beans forms a delicious base for seared halibut fillets. A member of the chicory family, escarole is a pleasantly bitter green with loose, broad, green outer leaves and a yellow-green heart.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. escarole, cored and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup canned white beans such as cannellini, rinsed and drained
  • 6 halibut fillets, each 5 to 6 oz.
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Directions:

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute. Add as much escarole as will fit in the pan. As the escarole wilts, continue adding the rest. If the pan gets dry, add a splash of water. Cook until the escarole is slightly wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Stir in the beans and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and braise until the escarole is very tender and the liquid has thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Cover and keep warm.

Season the halibut fillets with salt and black pepper. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the halibut and cook, turning once, until opaque throughout, about 2 minutes per side.

Spoon the escarole and beans onto individual plates and top with the halibut. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately with lemon wedges. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers’ Market, by Tasha DeSerio & Jodi Liano (Weldon Owen, 2010).