Pan-Seared Halibut with Quinoa Salad is a dish that is best served in the summer since it features the season’s fresh flavors.
This dish, which may seem intimidating, is really quite easy, according to chef Kevin King of of Fluke Wine, Bar & Kitchen in Newport, R.I., who made it in front of a crowd at the Newport Food &Wine Festival. At the end, you will have a gourmet meal that will leave your guests speechless.
The featured fish in this recipe is Alaskan halibut. The halibut is a white flat fish, with relatives being flounder, sole and nearly 400 other species.
The halibut is complemented by a quinoa salad, which includes tomatoes, parsley and local sweet corn. Quinoa is an ancient grain-like crop grown for its protein-rich seeds, and has been cultivated for over 3,000 years.
This dish is best served with fresh, local ingredients, however if you do not have access to a shoreline, or fresh seafood, fret not, as this dish is delicious with meat or poultry as well.
Pan-Seared Halibut with Quinoa Salad
Serves 1 or 2
1 fillet Alaskan halibut
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
1 small can Piquillo peppers
1 tablespoon capers
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup (uncooked) quinoa
3 to 6 heirloom cherry tomatoes
1 cob of corn, remove kernels
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon parsley
1. In a medium saucepan, add vinegar and sugar. Simmer the mixture until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is reduced by half. When ready, add the piquillo peppers; rRemember to strain the peppers and remove any juices from the can. Allow this to simmer and meld together.
2. Begin to cook the quinoa by boiling water and rinsing off the quinoa.
3. Once the water is boiling, add the quinoa and boil for 10 to 15 minutes, or until a small “tail” comes out of the seed grains.
4. In a medium saucepan, combine vegetable stock, tomatoes, corn, and parsley.
5. Add the quinoa once it is cooked, and stir the ingredients together.
6. Season the fish before adding it to a hot, oiled pan.
7. Sear the fish slightly for a few minutes, before placing it in a preheated oven at 400ºF for 8 to 10 minutes.
8. In a small blender, begin to prepare the olive tapenade.
9. Add olives, a clove of garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil to the blender. Pulse the ingredients together until they have a consistency similar to paste.
10. As the fish finishes in the oven, you may begin to assemble the plate.
11. Garnish the plate with the gastrique, add quinoa salad and a dollop of tapenade.
12. Pull the fish from the oven, plate it, and garnish with a little more gastrique on top, as well as some parsley.