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Roast Halibut with Herb Butter

Roast Halibut with Herb Butter
This herb butter is a versatile topping that complements all kinds of fish and vegetables. You can make a larger batch, roll it into a 1-inch log in waxed paper or parchment paper, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. Slice off thick disks as needed.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme, plus 3 or 4 sprigs
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh chives
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 lb. halibut fillet, patted dry
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil

Directions:

Make the herb butter
In a bowl, using a fork, beat the butter until soft and light. Add the minced parsley, thyme and chives, the lemon zest and juice, and a pinch each of salt and pepper, then beat until thoroughly blended. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature. (The herb butter may be prepared up to 2 days in advance and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.)

Season the halibut
Preheat an oven to 400°F. Oil a baking dish just large enough to accommodate the halibut.

Spread the onion slices in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Scatter the thyme sprigs on top. Measure the halibut at its thickest point, then rub it with the olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the halibut on the onions.

Roast the halibut
Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the halibut registers 120°F. Total cooking time will be about 10 minutes per inch of thickness, but start checking 5 minutes before the halibut is scheduled to be done to avoid overcooking.

Divide the halibut among individual plates and top each serving with herb butter. Place some of the onion slices alongside and serve immediately. Serves 4.

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