One evening I was busy with kid activities (homework, baths, art projects etc) and P was in charge of dinner. I expected a simple weeknight meal of grilled halibut and salad. But Paul treated us to a new scrumptious dish - Halibut with Pistachios and Preserved Meyer Lemons. It was so good, I had to share with you. Paul swears this dish isn't difficult to make - hard to believe P when you taste the fish - its flavors are complex and fancy-restaurant-good.
Our neighbor Rich recently gave us a jar of his home-preserved Meyer lemons, a necessary ingredient for this halibut dish. I just started to cure my own preserved lemons today. See the following recipe to make your own.
adapted from A16 Food + Wine by Nate Appleman, Shelley Lindgren, and Kate Leahy
- 1 1/2 pounds halibut fillets
- sea salt
- 1 cup pistachios, shelled and lightly toasted
- 2 wedges preserved lemons
- 1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cups loosely packed parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 fresh lemon, cut into wedges
Season the fish with a generous sprinkling of salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 4 hours before cooking.
30 minutes before cooking, bring fish to room temp.
Preheat oven to 400.
Remove pith and flesh from preserved lemon. Soak to remove excess salt. Rinse and mince.
In a mortar or food processor combine lemon, toasted pistachios and chili flakes. Coarsely blend, then slowly drizzle in olive oil. Add chopped parsley and continue to pulse, or crush until combined with other ingredients. Before adding any salt to the mixture, taste. There may be enough salt from the preserved lemons. If not, add a little sea salt to taste.
Place fish in a baking dish. Cover the top of each fillet with the pistachio/ lemon mixture. Press in gently so topping stays put.
Pour enough water into the pan so that it reaches half way up the sides of the fish. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until fish is just cooked through.
Transfer each fillets onto a warm plate. Finish with a drizzling of olive oil and lemon wedges on the side.
Give this recipe a try, and you will not be disappointed.