Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Halibut with Tomato, Orange & Olives

My husband has hit on an eating plan (thanks to a story he heard on NPR) that is working wonders for his weight maintenance. The program involves fasting twice a week and eating no more than 500 calories on those days.

With my DH back down to his fighting weight, I do my best to make light dinners that he can eat on his fasting days.

This halibut dish is one of my go-tos. The ingredient list is short, the prep time is quick and it is one of the most flavorful things I know how to make. I usually cook this in summer when tomatoes are plentiful – and available in a variety of colors – and I can grill the halibut outside, but my local market had some especially nice cherry tomatoes this week. And since I wish I were back to my own pre-holiday figure, eating healthfully is top of mind for me, too.

In the past I've used capers in the sauce, but my boys don't like them. This time I tried Kalamata olives. The vinegary zing of the olives added just the right contrast to the sweetness of the tomatoes. And let's be honest – this tomato sauce would be great on pasta (think Angel Hair) too!

Mangia! Mangia!

Halibut with Tomato, Orange & Olives
(Note: You can easily double the sauce recipe in the same size skillet)

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes or 1 12 ounce container of "gourmet medley" tomatoes
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup pitted and sliced Kalamata olives
1 or 2 teaspoons brine/vinegar from the Kalamata olive jar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 pound halibut fillets, skin removed
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian leaf parsley

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and just beginning to brown. Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until they begin to break down. This should take about 20 minutes.

Once most of the tomatoes have burst, add orange juice, olives and olive brine, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and continue to cook until sauce thickens, between 5 and 8 minutes.

As the sauce thickens, heat remaining olive oil in a skillet or grill pan. Season halibut with salt and pepper to taste. Grill halibut filets about 3 or 4 minutes per side. You can also sear the halibut in the grill pan to get those pretty grill marks, and then finish cooking the fish in the oven at 375 degrees, which I sometimes do.

Top halibut with tomato sauce and sprinkle with fresh parsley.

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