Lemon Cured Halibut over Shaved Fennel Salad

By • March 20, 2013 4 Comments

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Author Notes: Over the course of the last few months I've been curing a lot of salmon...gravlax with dill and vodka and even a green tea and mirin cured one. I thought halibut might be interesting to try and came up with this one over a light shaved fennel salad.inpatskitchen

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Serves 4

For the cured halibut

  • 1 pound skin on halibut filet cut into 2 equal pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 preserved meyer lemon*
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  1. Remove the pulp from the preserved lemon, rinse the peel and pat it dry. Mince the peel and combine it in a small bowl with the sugar and salt.
  2. Lay about an 18 inch piece of plastic wrap on your work surface. Sprinkle 1/4 of the lemon, sugar, salt mixture on the center of the plastic wrap. Lay one piece of halibut, skin side down over.
  3. Take 2/3 of the remaining sugar, salt, lemon mixture and sprinkle it over the flesh of the halibut. Sprinkle the vodka over and then take the second piece of halibut and place it flesh side down over the first piece. Sprinkle the remaining mixture over the top. Wrap the fish in the plastic wrap tightly and place the packet in a shallow dish with sides. At this point you can weigh down the fish with something heavy like a couple of unopened cans if you like, but it's not necessary.
  4. Place the dish in the fridge for 2 1/2 to 3 days, turning the packet every now and then. A lot of moisture will seep out into the dish, but that's okay.

For the salad

  • The cured halibut
  • 2 medium bulbs of fresh fennel (save the fronds)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh meyer lemon juice**
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 12 to 15 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 25 to 30 nicoise olives
  • 1/2 preserved meyer lemon*
  • Fennel fronds for garnish
  1. Rinse the cured halibut of the cure and lemon bits and pat dry. Slice the fish thinly on the bias without the skin and then set aside.
  2. Slice the fennel bulbs thinly, preferably on a mandoline. Whisk the oil, lemon juice and salt together and toss with the shaved fennel.
  3. Place 1/4 of the fennel mixture on a salad plate, top with 1/4 of the sliced halibut and arrange 1/4 of the tomatoes and olives around.
  4. Remove the pulp from the preserved lemon half and rinse and dry the peel. Mince the peel finely and sprinkle 1/4 on the salad. Garnish with a few fennel fronds. Repeat the process 3 more times for four beautiful salads!
  5. NOTE: I think regular preserved lemons might work just as well...give it a try!

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