Roasted halibut with preserved lemon and crème fraîche sauce

Roasted halibut with preserved lemon and crème fraîche sauce

By
From
My Favourite Ingredients
Serves
4
Photographer
Jason Lowe

This combination of simply roasted firm-fleshed, white fish and preserved lemon is unfussy – both in its execution and taste, but it is very, very good! In late summer I love to eat it with sliced perfectly ripe tomatoes, drizzled with very good olive oil. In the cooler months, I like it with spinach – just wilted and flavoured with a little finely sliced chilli and a drizzle of olive oil.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 halibut fillets, about 180g each, with skin
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 preserved lemons
small bunch mint, leaves only
small bunch basil, leaves only
3 tablespoons water
squeeze lemon juice, (if needed)
200ml creme fraiche

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
lemon wedges

Method

  1. First make the sauce. Cut the preserved lemons into quarters and rinse under cold running water, removing and discarding the flesh, which can taste bitter. You will be left with just the peel. Place this in a blender along with the herbs and water, and purée to a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl and try a little – it should taste fragrant and distinctive, a little salty but not excessively so. If it seems a bit too salty, add a squeeze or two of lemon juice, otherwise don’t bother. Stir in the crème fraîche and set aside in the fridge while you cook the fish.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place a large non-stick ovenproof pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Season the fish generously with salt and pepper, seasoning the skin more than the flesh side. Once the pan is hot, lay the fish in it, skin side down. Cook, without touching or turning, for about 2 minutes until the skin is golden and has popped itself up from the base of the pan. Now place the pan in the oven (still without turning the fish) and cook for 4 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven (remembering to protect your hand with an oven glove as the pan handle will be very hot). Lift the fish onto serving plates, placing the fillets skin side up. Spoon the cool lemony sauce on top and serve straight away, with lemon wedges and whatever else you choose!
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