Thursday, July 11, 2013

Halibut Puttanesca

It's summer and that means garden fresh food, straight off the grill!  Light dressed.  Perfectly seasoned and bursting with flavor.  Halibut is the star here, brushed with a fresh basil oil and grilled to perfection.  Topped with a homemade puttanesca relish, this dish screamed summer!
Grilled Halibut with Basil Oil & Puttanesca Relish
4 Halibut filets, about 2 1/2 pounds
2 cups lightly packed basil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 slices fresh tomato, cut 1/4" thick
3 slices red onion, cut 1/4" thick
2 slices yellow bell pepper, cut 1/4" thick
2 garlic cloves minced finely
2 whole garlic cloves
12 Kalamata Olives, pitted & chopped
Handful fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
12 capers, rinsed.
1 Teaspoon anchovy paste
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
Crushed Red Pepper
Salt & Pepper

Nothing about this recipe is hard.  By now, my readers know that although I love to cook,  I equally love simple, delicious recipes.  I don't like to stress or think too hard while I'm cooking.  This dish is a process.  When prepared in the right steps, it's simple. 
Step 1:  Preheat the Grill.  While the grill is heating, make the Basil Oil.   Combine basil, 2 whole garlic cloves, salt and pepper into a food processor.  Pulse once or twice.  Then begin drizzling oil into the basil while the processor is running until you have a nice green, basil infused oil.  Set aside into a small bowl.
Step 2:  Prepare the Relish.  By now the grill will be hot.  Take your tomato, onion and pepper slices, spray the grill with Pam, and lightly char.  Don't overcook the tomato.  You just want to mark it.  The pepper and onion will take a bit longer. 
Step 2A:   Once the vegtables are done, dice them into small pieces.  In a bowl, mix the anchovy paste with the vinegar and stir to dilute.  Then add the vegetables,  minced garlic, parsley, olives, capers, and crushed red pepper.  Season with salt and pepper and spoon in enough basil oil to "dress" the relish. 

~ Here's the Puttanesca Relish resting in the Bowl ~

Step 3:  Pat the Halibut dry and brush liberally with the basil oil.  Reserve some of the Basil Oil for when the fish is pulled off the grill.  Start with the fish skin side down and avoid touching it.  With the grill hot (mine was at almost 600 degrees) you'll barely need to turn it over. After about 6-8 minutes the fish will be done depending upon the thickness.  Remove from the grill to a serving platter and brush with the remainder of the Basil Oil.

~ This is the Gilled Halibut, brushed with the Basil Oil before topping with the Relish ~

Finally, simply top with the relish and serve!

~ The Platter:  Bursting with color & the flavors and smells of Summer! ~

~ The Chef's Plate ~


  1. Bella! John, Halibut is my favorite fish! So, are you going to recommend pairing with Pinot Grigio, Soave, Prosecco, or maybe Trebbiano?

  2. Dennis,

    Oddly, we had a melange of wines, some leftover with this. We had a bit of Cabernet, believe it or not. Some Sauvigon Blanc, a chilled Rose. A few things. The Cab was mostly after dinner. I think this would be great with any of those whites. And, depending upon how hot you make the dish, the Rose may work the best.

  3. Stop 'wining' about it. ◡‿◡
    Sounds bloody delicious though I must say.

  4. Thanks for the comment AC. It's pretty good and I'd like to think, even healthy!

  5. This Halibut dish looks awesome!!

  6. It was pretty tasty. And you can vary the heat. Two other options are to use yellow tomato in place of the yellow pepper. And you can also use Jalapeno instead of the crushed red pepper. The only reason I didn't do that was because I wanted to control the level of heat a bit better. Thanks Monica. Let me know if you try it.