Confit Halibut With Tomatoes & Preserved Lemon

August 21, 2023
3 Ratings
Photo by Melina Hammer
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 3
Author Notes

When the growing season reaches full throttle I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the volume of tomatoes coming from the gardens at Catbird Cottage (a good problem to have, I know). And every year, confit comes to the rescue. Slow-cooking foods in fat—often with a simple mix of aromatics—makes a meal that preserves the bounty with dynamite results. Buttery halibut is a favorite, but this dish would be just as tasty with cod, or even shrimp. Nestle all the elements around the fish and just barely cover in oil, then let the soft bubbling bring everything into jammy, aromatic harmony. Use any leftover infused oil to cook rice, beans, or toss in pasta. —Melina Hammer

What You'll Need
  • 1 3/4 pounds halibut fillet
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 shallots, peeled and halved, root end trimmed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 preserved lemon skin, thinly sliced
  • 15 Castelvetrano olives, pitted and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • extra-virgin olive oil, to cover
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped, for garnish
  • Crusty bread, for serving
  1. Pat fish dry and season with kosher salt.
  2. Use a Dutch oven or skillet that is just large enough to fit all ingredients snugly. Place the fish in first, then nestle around it the shallots and tomatoes. Dot with the olives and scatter the sliced preserved lemon. Add enough olive oil to just submerge the fish and all the other elements, and season with freshly ground pepper.
  3. Bring the mixture to a bare boil, then turn heat low to simmer. Cook at a gentle simmer until the fish is opaque and easily flakes with a fork. Depending on the thickness of your fish it will vary, between 12 to 18 minutes.
  4. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes, then divide between plates. Generously spoon the infused oil over all, scatter fresh parsley to top and season with freshly ground pepper. Serve alongside crusty bread and eat at once.

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Melina is the author of 'A Year at Catbird Cottage' with Ten Speed Press. She grows an heirloom and pollinator garden and forages wild foods at her namesake Hudson Valley getaway, Catbird Cottage. Melina loves serving curated menus for guests from near and far seeking community amidst the hummingbirds, grosbeaks, finches, and the robust flavors of the seasons.

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