Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Seared halibut with peas, peas and peas and grapefruit

Halibut is a mild fish that pairs beautifully with seasonal sweet peas and an acidic ingredient like grapefruit!

Chef Tracey Shepos
Jackson Family Wines, Santa Rosa

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1 lb. English peas in the pod
1 red grapefruit
1 cup sugar snap peas
1 small avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, cut into large dice, rinsed under cool running water and drained
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup loosely packed pea shoots
4 (1/4-lb.) halibut fillets, each about 1 inch thick
Kosher salt
2 tbsp. rice oil or other neutral-flavored oil
1/2 lemon
4 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
3/4 tsp. ground sumac
16 fresh tarragon leaves


To prepare peas: Shell peas; you should have about 1 cup. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with water and ice. Add peas to boiling water and blanch for 1 1/2 minutes. Drain immediately and plunge peas into the ice bath to halt the cooking. As soon as peas are cold, remove from ice water and spread on a paper towel to dry.

To make salad: Cut a thin slice off the top and bottom of the grapefruit to reveal the flesh. Stand grapefruit upright and, using a sharp knife and following the contour of the fruit, slice downward, cutting off the peel, pith and membrane in wide strips. Then, holding the fruit over a medium bowl, cut along each side of the membrane between the segments, releasing the freed segments and any juice into the bowl. Retrieve segments, a few at a time, cut crosswise into thirds and return to the bowl.

Cut off the stem end of each snap pea and pull away the string that runs the length of the pod. Quarter each pea crosswise and add to the bowl with the grapefruit. Top with reserved peas, avocado, olive oil and two-thirds of the pea shoots. Wait to toss the salad until after you prepare the fish.

To sear fish: Line a large plate with paper towels and set near the stove. Preheat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, pat halibut fillets dry with a paper towel. Season fillets on both sides with salt.

Add rice oil to the hot pan and heat for about 1 minute, until just starting to smoke. Tilt the pan to spread oil evenly over the bottom. Carefully add fish to the pan, placing fillets away from you to avoid being splattered with oil. Using a long, wide spatula, press down lightly on the fish for 1 minute. Continue cooking for 3 minutes longer, until fish is golden brown and caramelized on the underside. Flip fish and cook for 2 minutes longer, or to desired doneness. Transfer fish to the towel-lined plate and squeeze the juice from the lemon half evenly over the top.

To serve: Season salad with a pinch of salt and toss to mix evenly. Dollop 1 tbsp. of the yogurt on each individual serving plate and, using the back of a spoon, spread the yogurt into a "swoosh" shape. Sprinkle sumac over yogurt. Place a halibut fillet on the center of each plate and spoon pea salad around halibut. Garnish with remaining pea shoots and tarragon leaves.

Serves 4


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