Impressing Friends from away with Fresh Fish!


Last week we had a visitor from Montreal come and stay with us. We had a lovely time visiting the breathtaking sites of this island and of course we needed to satisfy the need to eat some local fish. On last saturday afternoon, after visiting the St. John's Farmers' Market, we went for a walk downtown to the local fish depot to buy some local fish. I found out while there that Tuesday is when Tuna delivers fresh from New Brunswick, Thursday is when Halibut comes in from the coast of Labrador, and every day is Cod, salmon, and steelhead trout day.We decided to pick up some Halibut to see what we could create along with other goodies we purchased from The Organic Farm, The Seed to Spoon Collective, and Jeremy Carter from Mt. Scio Farm at the farmers' market.

Seared Halibut with Tomatoes, Sprouts, and a Basil Vinaigrette

I must first say that this meal is not entirely local, I had decided to splurge this week and buy some organic heirloom tomatoes and a yellow pepper from the grocery store which have been added into this meal. I still wanted to post this recipe because it was surprisingly simple to put together, incredibly healthy, and knock-you-off-your-chair delicious! I cannot wait to make this again once tomato season is in full bloom.

So here is what you will need, or some variation thereof (Serves 4, or 3 hungry people who cannot get enough!):

4 pieces of fresh Halibut fillet, skin on (Courtesy of The Fish Depot) 4 Tomatoes, preferably local or heirloom 1 yellow pepper (optional) 4 handfuls of sprouts (you could also use arugula, or some other greens) (Courtesy of The Organic Farm) Sea Salt Fresh Ground Pepper

For the Vinaigrette:

1 garlic clove (Courtesy of Food for Thought) 1 green onion (Courtesy of The Seed to Spoon Collective) a handful of basil, parsley, and oregano leaves (Courtesy of Mt. Scio Farm and The Organic Farm) 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

First you will want to make your vinaigrette. Peel and finely chop up the garlic and green onion. clean and remove the stems of your herbs. Chop up the herbs finely. Combine your garlic, green onion, herbs and red wine vinegar in a bowl. Slowly mix in the olive oil while stirring constantly with a fork to ensure the oil and vinegar don't separate. Set Aside.

NOTE - if you have a food processor, or blender you can simply put all of these ingredients into your processor and quickly zip it for about 30 seconds and you will be done. You can also try mixing these together in a mason jar and then giving them all a quick shake near the end to really make sure they are mixed together.

Slice your tomatoes, pepper, and mix them together into a bowl. Mix in just enough of the basil vinaigrette to coat the tomatoes. Add a pinch of sea salt, some fresh ground pepper, and top with some chopped herbs. (use the same combination that is in the vinaigrette). Set Aside.

Now its time to cook the Halibut. I find the best tool to have in the kitchen for making up for not having a barbeque is a cast iron frying pan. If you have one of these, you will certainly want to use it for this recipe.

Heat a pan over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat until smoking. Place the halibut skin down on the pan and let cook for 2-3 minutes. While its cooking you can add a pinch of sea salt and ground pepper for seasoning. Flip the fish and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. While this side is cooking you should be able to peel off the skin very easily with a pair of tongs, and then again season with salt and pepper. Once the fish is quite flaky, you are all ready to go.

To serve, divide the tomato mixture between four plates, and put a handful of sprouts on top of each pile. Place a piece of halibut atop of each pile and spoon some of the left over vinaigrette on top of the halibut and around the plate.

The last step is probably the best.... eat and enjoy with friends and family!!