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Let me begin by saying that I love, love, love Pacific halibut — and it thrills me every spring when it makes its first appearance at our local markets. I can’t even count the ways I prepare it: on the grill, in the oven, broiled, wrapped in parchment, etc. The delicate, firm white meat never disappoints me – it is moist and succulent and takes on any flavor profile, whether it’s a simple sear with lemon or the more savory addition of roasted onions and peppers. I am so fortunate to get the best the ocean has to offer right here in Seattle from my favorite fishmonger Kenny at Uwajamaya.
I’ve known Ken for thirty years so we have literally grown up together, and in all this time I have NEVER, EVER had a piece of fish that is substandard. I contend that everyone would love fish if they would buy it from a place that has large volume and from a fishmonger they trust.
Earlier this month, I invited my local family (only seven adults live here now) to celebrate my brother Kal’s 57th birthday. Kal has been an amazing uncle to all his nieces and nephews – he taught my kids to ski, he helped them with homework and has taken them hiking, camping, you name it. It’s like my kids have a third parent! So we were all thrilled to be able to celebrate him.
To surprise him, I prepared halibut in the oven and everyone loved it! It never fails to please – especially served alongside a wonderful green salad, a fresh fruit salad, quinoa salad and marinated asparagus. And I can’t forget the chocolate stout cake – made with Scharfenberger chocolate – my favorite. Whenever I make dinner, I like lots of choices and many side dishes – the more the merrier, leftovers welcome. Despite being full from dinner, everyone was able to take home leftover cake and salad! Kal even took some of my organic quinoa so he can make this salad for home.
Halibut with Oven Roasted Peppers and Sweet Onions
- 4 halibut steaks split in half lengthwise, about 1 inch thick
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 grinds of fresh pepper
- 1 very large sweet onion, cut in half, slice halves into ⅓ inch half circles and separate the pieces
- 1 orange pepper, cut into ⅓ inch strips
- 1 red pepper, cut into ⅓ inch strips
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 lime, (zest for pepper/onion mixture, juice for fish marinade)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, cut into thin pieces
- 6 branches of fresh thyme
- 1 more lime, juiced for serving the fish
- sea salt and pepper to taste
*I always figure about ½ pound of fish per person.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Combine peppers and onions with orange and lime zest and add in 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, stir and add thyme and garlic and continue cooking 20 more minutes. Remove the vegetables to a bowl – they will be used to top the fish.
Meanwhile, marinate halibut in lime juice, olive oil and pepper for ½ hour. Remove from marinate – dry the fish and discard the marinade. Put the fish on the now-empty, rimmed baking sheet and top with the cooked pepper/onion/garlic/thyme mix. Bake 12 minutes. Remove from oven and squeeze the remaining lime over the entire dish. Season with more salt/pepper and serve.
Happy birthday to the best little brother in the world! He is 3 minutes younger than his twin sister, Katie.