This recipe is as close as possible to capturing spring in a skillet. It is so full of brilliant colors that you almost need sunglasses to eat it.
The dish gets its appearance from the field green of asparagus and peas, pops of pink radish and festive ribbons of carrot. Nestled in that garden of produce are fillets of white, flaky fish (halibut, cod, or similar firm fish all work), made golden brown with a quick sear in a hot pan to start.
The vegetables and fish are cooked together in a lemony white wine pan sauce, which is spiked with a knob of butter and made in the same pan. A generous shower of gentle herbs adds a fresh, grassy perfume (I used parsley and dill, but basil and/or mint would be nice too).
It’s a meal that comes together, begins, and ends, in about half an hour, and eating it feels a lot like a walk in the park on a perfect spring day: restorative, uplifting, and fulfilling.
Frying pan with halibut and spring vegetables
Time: 35 minutes
Four (110-140 g) skinless, center-cut halibut fillets (can substitute for cod)
¼ tsp plus â…› tsp salt, divided, plus more to taste
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
½ large sweet onion (170g), thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus (about 450g), woody ends removed, cut diagonally into 5cm pieces
1 large carrot (140 g), peeled, then cut into wide ribbons with a vegetable peeler
4 small red radishes, quartered
80 ml dry white wine (can be substituted for 60 ml low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock plus 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice)
60 ml low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock, or water
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 tbsp unsalted butter
70 g tender fresh or frozen peas
4 tsp chopped fresh dill, for garnish
4 tsp chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Pat the halibut as dry as possible with paper towels or paper towels and sprinkle the top with â…› teaspoon of each salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat until shimmering. Place the halibut in the pan, top side down (it may sputter, so lean back a bit). Cook the fish without moving it until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the fish to a plate with a large spatula.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 2 minutes. Then stir in the asparagus, carrot, radish and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and â…› teaspoon pepper and cook until vegetables are slightly softened, about 1 minute. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the wine has reduced by about half, about 4 minutes. Add the stock or water, lemon juice and butter and cook, stirring, until the butter has melted, about 1 minute.
Return the fish to the pan, cooked side up, nestled in the vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes, basting the fish occasionally with the sauce. Then stir in the peas and cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork and the vegetables are firm and tender, 1 to 2 minutes more. Taste and season with extra salt, pepper and/or lemon juice if necessary.
Divide the fish and vegetables among 4 shallow bowls or plates, garnish with the chopped dill and parsley and serve.
How to save: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Nutritional information per serving | calories: 274; total fat: 11 g; saturated fat: 3g; cholesterol: 63 mg; sodium: 283 mg; carbohydrates: 15g; dietary fiber: 5g; sugar: 7g; protein: 26g.
This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietician or nutritionist.
The Washington Post