Hazelnut-Crusted Halibut with
Apple Thyme Vinaigrette
Big-flavored Washington apples such as Gala
or Braeburn are excellent in this dish.
Halibut meat is low in fat, white and firm, with a mild flavor.
The fish’s ability to hold together well makes it suitable
for most manners of preparation, especially since the bones
are easy to spot and remove. Adding a vinaigrette made
with a full-flavored Washington State apple such as a Gala
or Braeburn helps create the perfect marriage of land
and sea. Experiment with substituting toasted almonds,
walnuts or pecans in place of the hazelnuts.
Washington Blue Cheese Potatoes are the perfect buffet
dish. You can also serve these potatoes as showstopping
individual round towers for a sit-down dinner or a more
formal party. Cut the chilled, cooked dish into 12 rounds
using a 21/2-inch cookie cutter. Place the rounds on a
parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until needed.
Reheat them in a 400°F oven until warmed thoroughly and
browned. They also make the perfect accompanimentfor
the Hazelnut-Crusted Halibut with Apple Thyme Vinaigrette.
1 red apple, cored, halved, 11/2 cups hazelnuts, lightly
3 tablespoons hazelnut oil Pinch of dry mustard
or olive oil 11/4 teaspoons salt
1/ 1 2cupvegetable oil 1 /4poundsskinned halibut
fillet, cut on a bias into
1. VINAIGRETTE: Chop 1/2 of the apple, reserving
the other half.
2. Heat hazelnut oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat and add the chopped apple. Cook 1
minute, then add shallots and sugar. Continue
cooking till apple is soft, about 1 minute. Add
lemon juice. Cool; puree in a blender till smooth.
3. Pour pureed mixture in a medium bowl, add
mustard, and slowly whisk in vegetable oil. Add
thyme, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir in water to
thin slightly. Cut the remaining half apple in
1/4-inch dice, and toss with the dressing.
Refrigerate till needed.
4. HAZELNUT CRUST: Place hazelnuts, dry mustard,
salt, cayenne, lemon peel and thyme in a food
processor. Pulse till finely chopped but not mealy.
Place in a large shallow dish.
5. Preheat oven to 425°F. Dip each halibut fillet
in the melted butter, coating well. Immediately
press each fish piece firmly into the nut crust
mixture, turning and coating all sides well. Place
coated halibut pieces on a baking sheet brushed
with vegetable oil. Bake for about 6 minutes, or
until just cooked through.
6. Carefully remove fish to individual plates and
drizzle with vinaigrette. Garnish with fresh thyme
sprigs. Pass extra vinaigrette. Makes 4 servings.