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Mama’s Kitchen: Halibut in Artichoke and Tomato Broth

A few years back I tried a dish in a restaurant that at first sound did not sound very tempting, but once I tried it, it was all I could think about. It was a halibut fillet served in a broth of olives, onions, and tomatoes. I was too hesitant to try making this dish from scratch because I had never had anything like it before. I was happy to find that Giada De Laurentiis had a similar recipe so I tried it immediately. As with all recipes, the first time I try it I follow the instructions to a tee so I can figure out how to make the dish. After the first time, it’s a bit of freestyle and I start adding ingredients, cutting out ingredients and changing measurements to my taste.  What follows below is Giada’s recipe with my tweaks. Little stars “*” in the ingredients mean I either added the ingredient or changed the measurement. This dish is truly unique, but so hearty, healthy and delicious. It’s perfect for summer and winter as it’s equally refreshing and comforting. I hope this gets you to try something new – you won’t regret it, I promise!

extra virgin olive oil
2 -4 halibut fillets or snapper fillets or swordfish fillets*
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 8oz box of frozen artichokes*
3/4 cup of white wine*
2 cups of chicken broth*
8 small white creamer potatoes or red potatoes, cut in small pieces*
1 onion, halved and sliced*
1 lemon – squeezed*
Green Olives, de-pitted and halved*
1, 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
handful of fresh thyme leaves and fresh rosemary* – (leave on the stem)

Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the halibut and season with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Cook the fish on the grill pan until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness.

* I use my “Lean Mean Grilling Machine” to grill the fish and a plain ol’ barbecue grill would work too.

In a medium saucepan, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots [and onions] and cook for 1 minute.

Add the garlic and artichokes and cook until golden brown, about [3] minutes. Add the white wine and stir, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and juice, [potatoes, olives, lemon juice], thyme, [rosemary], and . . . salt & pepper [to taste].

Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are fork tender. Take out the thyme and rosemary stems.

Ladle the artichoke and tomato broth into shallow bowls. Top with the grilled halibut [or snapper or swordfish]. Serve immediately.

I like to serve with crunchy garlic bread! This recipe makes enough broth for 4 fillets of fish. Usually, I make 2 fillets and use half the broth. The broth freezes well, so if you’re cooking for 1 or 2, you can freeze the broth and you’ll have a yummy dinner in minutes another night. Buon appetito!

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