Halibut with Lemon, Herbs and Sautéed Asparagus

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

The versatile fry pan does triple duty here in this springtime weeknight meal. First it’s used for sautéing the asparagus, then for steaming the fish, and finally for simmering the sauce. Serve with steamed fingerling potatoes tossed with butter and parsley, and pour a light, crisp white wine to serve alongside.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. (250 g) asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 halibut fillets (each about 6 oz./180 g)
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) white wine
  • 4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh dill
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. pine nuts, toasted
  • Thinly shaved fennel for garnish (optional)

Directions:

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the asparagus and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is lightly browned and just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and cover with aluminum foil.

Season the halibut with salt and pepper. In the same pan over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the oil. Place the halibut in the pan and add 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the wine and 2 Tbs. of the lemon juice. Cover and steam until the fish is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes, adding another 1/2 cup water if the liquid evaporates before the fish is done. Transfer the fish to the platter with the asparagus and cover with aluminum foil.

In the same pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the shallots, lemon slices and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup wine and 2 Tbs. lemon juice and cook until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the butter and stir until melted. Stir in the dill and parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the fish and asparagus. Garnish with the pine nuts and fennel and serve immediately. Serves 4

Adapted from Williams Sonoma The Skillet Supper Cookbook (Weldon Owen, 2016)

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