Halibut Mediterranean-Style, delicate textures and robust flavors tantalize the taste buds with the inspiration of Sardegna, Italy! A beautiful Halibut steamed in tomato sauce, potatoes, and olives. Thinking about what to have tonight? Why not a healthy flavor-packed dish like this!
Song of the day: “Swallowed by the Sea” by Coldplay.
Halibut Mediterranean-Style, inspired by our latest trip to Italy, this dish is comfort meets elegance. If you love fish, this is the dish to try! Why not make tonight a night to enjoy the fruits of the ocean or the sea!
When I was young……..
Halibut, let alone any fish, wasn’t a favorite of mine growing up. My parents loved fish and every time it was served I would not eat it. However, over time and a little maturity, I found that I had missed some pretty good meals due to stubbornness and lack of palate. In my teens, fish became something I really loved alongside seafood too.
When I first went to Italy, thanks to Nicoletta my beautiful wife, I had the great pleasure of trying fresh seafood, as a result, I became enamored with those jewels coming from the Mediterranean sea! I dream of going back every time and hitting the fish market right away and feasting on delectable Italian seafood dishes.
Back in Canada…………………….
We are back from our trip to Italy and so inspired by our travels and the places we visited. One place, in particular, was Alghero. A beautiful town on the northwest coast of Sardinia (Sardegna), a large island off the west coast of Italy.
Nicoletta and I were strolling along the beachfront and getting pretty hungry so we stopped in at a restaurant facing an amazing vista of the sea. I ordered Ombrina in Tomato Sauce with Potatoes and Olives. This fish, Ombrina, was absolutely delicious, so flaky and light, infused with the deepness of the tomatoes and acidity from the olives. I knew that I wanted to do this dish for our blog, hence here it is, Halibut Mediterranean-Style!
When you can’t find what you need, use what you can……………….
I only had one problem being in Canada and doing this recipe. Ombrina (croaker or umbrine, similar to sea bream and sea bass) is not a fish we can find here, as a result, I had to find an alternative. I like things fresh so Nicoletta and I went to the 104th street market where we new Ocean Odyssey would be and I could find the right type of fish for this dish. I wanted something flaky and meaty, like the Ombrina, with plenty of flavor. So looking through the list of fresh fish I saw halibut was available and knew this would be a good fit for the Mediterranean flavors and textures that I was going to use.
What’s in the shopping bag……………………….
Let’s take a look.
- A nice piece of halibut
- Stewed tomatoes
- Fresh market grape tomatoes
- Kalamata olives
- Italian parsley
- Market yellow potatoes
First things first……………
To start, firstly we have to get a sauce going with olive oil, garlic, chili, and the stewed tomatoes. Secondly, if you want to cut the cooking time a bit, parboil these farm potatoes. A quick 5-10 minutes in boiling water then into the sauce they go. If not, they will go in with the stewed tomatoes right away.
Thirdly, want to add all the rest of the ingredients like olives, capers, seasoning. You want to cook this until the potatoes are almost fork tender.
Does that not look absolutely scrumptious?
The star of the show………..
Lastly, you want to steam that fish. How you do this is you want to move the potatoes and olives out of the way and make a nice pool of sauce for the halibut to sit in. Then, lightly cover the fish with some more sauce. Ten to fifteen minutes depending on the thickness of the fish, and that’s it, although this is the time I put in the grape tomatoes too. Consequently, the aroma in the kitchen is amazing. The richness of the tomato sauce and that beautiful smell of the halibut is truly making my stomach growl. I can’t wait to take some good bread and do some scarpetta!
Time to plate……
I love the colors of this Halibut Mediterranean-Style. The vivid red and the contrasting black of the olives, and the beautiful bright notes of green from the parsley is so enticing, isn’t it? I sprinkled the plate with some paprika and as you can see that fish is nicely placed on the sauce, and plenty of sauce for dipping.
“Tutti a tavola a mangiare” as Lidia would say……………….
Some people say that this is the best part, eating, however, for me it’s not always the destination but the journey. I enjoy cooking and especially enjoy cooking for people because it is the way I show love and affection. Enough talk, now time to taste.
Okay, this sauce is rich not only in tomato but as a result of the other ingredients. The acidity of the olives and the capers, plus the starchiness of the potatoes really embody the partnership of the halibut and the sauce of this Halibut Mediterranean-Style dish. I want to talk about this halibut. It is amazingly flaky, tender, and so moist because it was steamed in the sauce making it all the better! For those of you who are wondering, yes, I did clean the plate and did some dipping with that good rustic bread.
Are you craving some fish and don’t know what to do? Here we have a wonderful comforting yet elegant dish. The flavors are spot on and as you dive into the fish and see those beautiful flaky layers separate with the juices running down, you know consequently there will be some appreciative smiles around the table.
Song of the day: “Swallowed by the Sea” by Coldplay.Print
Halibut Mediterranean-Style, delicate textures and robust flavors tantalize the taste buds with inspiration of Sardegna, Italy! A beautiful piece of halibut, steamed in tomato sauce, potatoes, and olives. Thinking about what to have tonight? Why not a healthy, flavor-packed fish dish like this!
- 230 grams of fresh Halibut (roughly 1/2 pound)
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 cups of San Marzano stewed tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp e.v.o. oil
- 3/4 cup of grape tomatoes halved
- 1 clove garlic
- Pinch of red chili flakes
- 1/2 small onion chopped fine
- 2 small potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 tsp capers
- 1/4 cup of kalamata olives
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- !/4 cup of chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Sprinkling of ground paprika
- In a medium cast pot drizzle in olive oil, add in chili flakes, garlic and onions. Saute for 2 minutes on medium heat.
- Add in stewed tomatoes and potatoes. Cover, however, stir frequently so potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook covered for 45 minutes.
- Next toss in capers and olives and stir. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Place in grape tomatoes and stir again.
- Season halibut with salt and pepper.
- Move aside potatoes and olives making a nice pool for the halibut to sit in. Place in halibut and cover with more sauce. Place lid on pot and cook on low for 8 minutes or so depending on thickness of fish.
- Take off heat and plate.
- Garnish with some fresh chopped parsley, a grinding of black pepper, and finally a dusting of ground paprika.
- Ready to serve!
- If you want to cut the cooking time, parboil the potatoes for 10 minutes and then add them into the sauce.
- If you can’t find fresh halibut, then use a hearty flaky fish that is available, like sablefish or cod.