“What’s for dinner, Mommy?” I’m sure that’s a common refrain in many households, but never, ever, have you seen the look in mine when I say, “Fish.” Ditto, when I get anywhere near the fish aisle at Costco, where wild tuna, salmon and halibut are regulars. Occasionally, when I can’t swallow grilled chicken one more night, though, I go for this dish (and tell Emma halibut is like lobster, which we never have because Bruce is allergic to shellfish but I think she thinks it might be good). Or, I make it when we have guests, and more times than not I get a recipe request. It’s really good and really easy—thank you, Los Angeles Times–-and, really, what more can a girl want? (If you have any suggestions about how to get your child to eat fish without a fight, please share!)
(serves 2 to 4)
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. halibut fillets, rinsed and patted dry
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 cups canned diced tomatoes, drained (I use fresh tomatoes on the vine since I’m already at Costco…)
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
3 T. capers (I love ‘em, and use more)
1/8 t. red pepper flakes
1 t. balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
6, or so, basil leaves, torn
Heat the oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Lightly season the fish with salt. Add the fillets to the pan and sear until they have good color, about 4 minutes.
Turn the fillets, reduce the heat to low and cook 1 minute. Remove the fish to a plate and keep warm
Add the garlic and shallots to the pan and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, olives, capers, pepper flakes, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium and simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through and the sauce is bubbly. Add the fish back into the sauce during the final minute of cooking.
Transfer the fillets to a platter, spoon the sauce over and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and the torn basil. Serve immediately.