Halibut Nicoise w/ Tomato Anchovy Butter
This could be one of my best dinners to date (says my husband).
Maybe it's because I was drinking wine the whole time I was preparing it (which usually is a bad combination for me!).
My fish market had amazing halibut, a rarity this time of year, and on sale to boot!
Nice, thick and firm, restaurant quality.
The rest of the dinner was made with the last of our homegrown produce.
These are the last of my MCG fingerlings potatoes (so good), and the last of the green bean harvest (we rotate our crops all season, so we have green beans at least 4 different times).
This is the last roundup of cherry tomatoes too. There are just stragglers, hanging on for dear life, knowing a frost is close by.
We cleaned up all the tomato cages on Sunday, many of the tomatoes squashed on the ground, so this is really the end.
This recipe is fairly simple, though it may look like a pain. You can make the potato bean salad hours in advance and keep it on the counter at room temperature, and the fish and sauce take all of 5 minutes to cook.
I would advise making enough for leftovers, since it was even better the next day cold, for lunch.
Halibut Nicoise w/ Tomato Anchovy Butter: (enough for 4 main dishes)
4 portions of halibut, about 1/2 lb. per person
1 lb. of fingerling small yellow potatoes
1 lb. of fresh green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup kalamata olives chopped (or a tbsp of Trader Joe's Tapenade)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 heaping tbsp of French grainy mustard (w/ seeds)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup of good olive oil
fresh basil leaves for garnish
Anchovy Tomato Butter:
3 anchovy filets
12 cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp butter
For the potato green bean salad:
Make a dressing of the vinegar, mustard, salt, garlic and olive oil. Whisk and set aside.
I cheat and use 1 pot to boil the eggs, beans and potatoes. You just have to time it right.
Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the potatoes 10 minutes.
Next, in the same pot of boiling water with the potatoes, throw in the eggs. Set the timer for 5 minutes.
When the buzzer goes off, throw in the green beans and set the buzzer for another 5 minutes (if you do the math, it's 20 minutes total for the potatoes, 10 minutes for the eggs, and 5 for the beans..............genius).
Drain all in a colander.
Place the beans in a big bowl and peel and crack the eggs. Set aside.
I know it's a pain, but if you can, slice the potatoes while still warm and slip off the skins. If you must leave the skins on, that's ok.
Add the potatoes to the bowl with the grean beans. Pour over the dressing and the olives and season w/ a pinch more of sea salt.
The salad can be made hours in advance, but don't refrigerate.
Season the halibut pieces with kosher salt & pepper and cook in an oiled grill pan for 2 minutes on each side. The fish will be done quickly and will start to flake, don't overcook it.
While the fish is cooking, heat a small heavy skillet with the butter, anchovies and tomatoes. Press down on the tomatoes so they burst and cover with a lid.
Cook on low for about 2-3 minutes until the sauce is a nice tomato brown and the anchovies are dissolved.
Plate the potato green bean salad on a platter and place the fish on top. Slice the hardboiled eggs into quarters and arrange around the platter.
Pour the tomato anchovy butter on top of each piece of fish and garnish with fresh basil leaves.