Halibut with Sundried Tomato Tapenade

April 29, 2012

Halibut with Sundried-Tomato Tapenade

Wine Varietal: Lemberger

Tapenade, a thick paste used as a condiment in the Provence region of France, is traditionally made of capers, anchovies, ripe olives, olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings. My bright, lemony version offers a bold contrast in color, taste, and texture to mild-flavored, simply-broiled halibut. A mini-food processor helps cut down on preparation time, although the ingredients can also be minced by hand. Any leftover tapenade can be served with other finfish, vegetables, or chicken.

1 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon capers

1 clove garlic, halved

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed


1 1/2 pounds halibut fillets, 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick, skin and bones removed, rinsed, drained, patted dry, and cut into four 6-ounce fillets

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Preheat the broiler. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Place the sundried tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, and lemon zest in a mini food processor and pulse until minced. Alternately, mince the ingredients by hand.

3. Place the minced vegetables and lemon juice in a small nonreactive mixing bowl and stir well. Season to taste with Tabasco. Cover and set aside at room temperature while preparing the fish.

4. Sprinkle the cod fillets lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the fillets on the prepared baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil.

5. Place the fish under the broiler 3 to 4 inches from the heat source. Broil 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the thickness of  the fillets, which should just turn opaque.

6. Divide the fish fillets among 4 dinner plates. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the tapenade beside each fillet.

Recipe reprinted from the “Pike Place Public Market Seafood Cookbook, Gift Edition and e-Edition,” copyright 2005 and 2012, by Braiden Rex-Johnson.

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