Buttered halibut steak with sweet potato and lemon thyme gnudi

Serves 4 Starters and mains

Halibut Gnidi 3298

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Ingredients

  • 3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2tbsp capers, drained and patted dry
  • 10g parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 slices bread (crusts removed), processed to a crumb
  • 4 x 175g-200g halibut steaks cut from the small end of a large fish
  • 1tsp pul biber, plus extra for dusting
  • 25g salted butter

For the lemon thyme gnudi

  • 200g ricotta
  • 375g small orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
  • 125g fine semolina
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 180g parmesan, finely grated
  • 5 stems lemon thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 25g salted butter

Method

To make the gnudi. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Put the ricotta in a sieve set over a bowl to catch the liquid and leave while the sweet potatoes cook. Put the sweet potatoes on a baking tray and prick 3 times with a skewer. Cook for 45-55 minutes. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the sweet potatoes flesh and put into a bowl with the drained ricotta. Mash well until an even orange colour. Mix in the egg yolks one at a time, than add the parmesan and thyme. Season with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt flakes to taste. Form the mixture into balls the size of a large walnut and press to flatten a little.

Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil. Quickly add a third of the balls at a time and time for 4 minutes, maintaining a gentle yet rolling boil. When they float to the top – which will take 3-4 minutes – remove with a slotted spoon to a tray lined with kitchen paper. As soon as they have drained, and before they stick, transfer to a baking paper-lined tray and put them in the fridge to dry out uncovered overnight. Repeat with the rest.

When ready to fry, heat the oil and butter a little at a time in a large frying pan on a medium heat and fry around 1⁄2 the gnudi at a time. They blacken easily due to the ricotta so take care to keep them moving to allow them to turn a lovely golden colour (adjust the heat if necessary). Lift onto a plate and keep warm in a low oven.

To cook the halibut, season well with sea salt flakes and the pul biber. Heat half of the oil in a large frying pan and fry the steaks for around 3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, on one side, then turn over and cook for another 3 minutes until just done. Add the butter and, when foaming, spoon it over the steaks for a few minutes until glossy. Set aside, and keep warm.

Heat 1⁄2tsp of the oil and fry the capers until crispy. Rinse the pan and dry, then heat the rest of the oil in it and fry the crumbs until golden and crispy. Add the parsley and continue to fry until crisp. Add the capers and scatter over the fish and gnudi. Dust with a little more pul biber to serve.

Food styling and recipes by Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes.
Halibut Gnidi 3298
Food styling and recipes by Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes.

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