eating this: sauteed halibut with arugula, beets and horseradish crème fraîche

This is a recipe from my new favorite cookbook Sunday Suppers at Lucques. When I first went through it, I think I bookmarked 20 recipes. This was the first one I’ve tried and oh man – it was so good.

Even the marinade process looks delicious!

I love roasted beets. I LOVE THEM. But I hate how pink my hands get, so ever since I started buying them at the store ready to eat, the idea of roasting them sounds so lame. Roast them. If you want.

Sauteed Halibut with Arugula, Roasted Beets and Horseradish Crème Fraîche
(Adapted from Suzanne Goin’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques)

*the recipe serves 6 – I kept the sauces the same but just used less fish, beets, and arugula for 2 servings.

for the fish:
6 halibut filets (5-6 ounces each)
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespooon thyme leaves
2 tablespoons coarsley chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 ounces arugula
2 tablespoons  super-good extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

for the beets and horseradish crème fraîche:
4 bunches different-colored beets (OR a package of beets)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon diced shallot, plus 1/4 cup sliced shallots
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1/4 cup heavy cream
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

Season the fish with the lemon zest, thyme, and parsley. Cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove the fish from the refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking and bring it to room temperature.

If you’re roasting the beets, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut off the beet greens, leaving 1/2 inch of the stems still attached. Clean the beets well, and toss them with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt.

Place the beets in a roasting pan with a splash of water in the bottom. Cover the pan tightly with foil, and roast for about 40 minutes, until they’re tender when pierced. (The roasting time will depend on the size and type of beet.) When the beets are done, carefully remove the foil. Let cool, and peel the beets by slipping off the skins with your fingers. Cut them into 1/2-inch-thick wedges.

While the beets are in the oven or not in the oven, combine the diced shallot, both vinegars, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl, and let sit 5 minutes. Whisk in the 1/2 cup olive oil. Taste for balance and seasoning.

Whisk the crème fraîche and horseradish together in a small bowl. Stir in the heavy cream, remaining 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper.

Toss the beets and sliced shallots with the vinaigrette. (If you’re using different-colored beets, dress each color in a separate bowl so the colors don’t bleed.) Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper, and toss well. Taste for balance and seasoning.

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 2 minutes. (Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook the fish in batches or in two pans.) Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Swirl the regular extra-virgin olive oil into the pan and wait 1 minute. Carefully lay the fish in the pan, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until it’s lightly browned. Turn the fish over, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook a few more minutes, until it’s almost cooked through. Be careful not to overcook the fish. When it’s done, the fish will begin to flake and separate a little, and the center will still be slightly translucent. Remember, the halibut will continue to cook for a bit once you take it out of the pan.

Scatter half of the arugula over a large platter. Arrange the beets on top, and drizzle with half the horseradish cream. Tuck the rest of the arugula among the beets, so you can see the beets peeking through. Nestle the fish in the salad, and spoon a little horseradish cream over each piece. Drizzle the whole dish with the super-good olive oil and a big squeeze of lemon.

*I took a photo before I doused the horseradish sauce on top on the fish too, it’s kind of like a halibut sandwich with the bread being the horseradish sauce and a beet sandwich with the bread being the arugula. Eat all the ingredients in one bite and OMG.


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