Pour yourself a glass of pinot grigio, put on some music, turn on the barbecue, and get ready to take a mini-holiday. Nothing tastes more like summertime at the Italian seaside than grilled fish in a fresh tomato, olive, and artichoke sauce with sweet basil sprinkled on top. Use the juiciest tomatoes and the freshest fish you can find and take a moment to enjoy la dolce vita.
Italian-Style Grilled Halibut
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
For the sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
275g cherry tomatoes, halved
240ml jarred marinated artichoke hearts, drained
40g black olives
17g chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems
sea salt and black pepper
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
120ml dry white wine
For the halibut
4 halibut steaks (170g each, about 2.5cm thick; see notes)
sea salt and black pepper
10g fresh basil leaves, cut into Chiffonade
MAKE THE SAUCE Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the oil and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, and half of the parsley. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper and the red pepper flakes and gently stir. Pour in the white wine and simmer for about 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining parsley leaves just before serving. The sauce can be made a day ahead and stored in a jar in the refrigerator. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through.
MAKE THE HALIBUT Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Using a basting brush or your clean hands, coat the halibut well in oil. Season the fish on all sides with salt and pepper and place it on the grill. Cook undisturbed until the fish releases from the grill, 4 to 5 minutes, then flip with a fish spatula and cook for about 4 minutes more, until the flesh is opaque and flaky. Serve the halibut steaks with the sauce. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and the basil. Cool, cover, and refrigerate leftovers immediately and enjoy within 24 hours.
CHEF’S NOTES Halibut has been plagued by overfishing. Look for domestic wild-caught halibut from certified fisheries to ensure your halibut is from a sustainable source. If halibut is not available, another meaty fish such as tuna or mahi mahi may be substituted.
FEEL GOOD INGREDIENT – HALIBUT Halibut is a firm white fish with a meaty texture and delicate flavour. Halibut provides loads of protein, selenium, niacin, magnesium, vitamins B12 and B6, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids. It can have anti-inflammatory effects on your body to help fight disease.
Extracted from Pescan: A Feel Good Cookbook by Abbie Cornish and Jacqueline King Schiller (Abrams, approx €26). Food photography by Ren Fuller.