Crispy pave of halibut with softened leeks and herby hollandaise

Serves 4 Starters and mains

Halibut 3529

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Ingredients

  • 4 x 175g filleted halibut slices
  • 400g leeks
  • 100g salted butter
  • 10g chives, chopped
  • 4 stems tarragon, leaves removed and chopped
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 x punnet micro purple basil or shiso

For the herby hollandaise

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 1tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • juice 1 small lime
  • 10g flat-leaf parsley, leaves removed and chopped

Method

Trim the leeks, leaving as much of the green end as possible. Cut down through the top green half of the leek lengthways as far as the white part to enable you to wash thoroughly under running water to get rid of any grit between the layers. Cut into 1cm rounds.

Melt 65g of the salted butter in a heavy-based medium-sized pan. Stir in the leeks and place a piece of scrunched-up baking paper trimmed to size right over the them. Put the lid on the saucepan and turn the heat to the lowest level. The leeks should gently soften and absorb the butter without changing colour. Check occasionally. Fold through 1⁄2 of the chives and 1⁄2 of the tarragon.

To make the hollandaise, melt the unsalted butter in a small pan until just warm, then transfer to a jug. Put the vinegar, 2tbsp of water, a pinch of pepper and sea salt crystals in the same pan. Add the yolks and whisk until frothy. Put over a very low heat stirring continuously for 3-4 minutes until just warm (it must not overheat).

Remove from the heat and sit the pan on a board lined with a double layer of kitchen paper. Using electric beaters whisk in the melted butter starting with dribbles, then in a steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Gently stir in the lime juice. Put 1tbsp of the hollandaise into a mini- processor with the parsley, the rest of the chives and tarragon and whizz to chop a little finer. Transfer the hollandaise and the herb mixture to a bowl and sit it over a pan of just-boiled water (heat turned off) without allowing the base to touch the water. Covered, it will keep warm like this for up to 30 minutes. You may need to reheat the water after 15 minutes but remove the bowl to do so, then turn off the heat and sit the bowl back over the water and cover again, otherwise it may split.

Season the fish slices. Melt the remaining butter along with the oil in a frying pan over a medium-to- high heat. Add the fish and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden, then turn the pieces and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. The fish will continue to cook from the residual heat, so be careful not to overcook.

Raise the heat on the leeks and season. Spoon the hollandaise onto each plate and add leeks. Top with the fish and scatter over some micro purple basil to serve.

Food styling and recipes by Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes.
Halibut 3529
Food styling and recipes by Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes.

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