Michelle calls this Halibut over Salmorejo, but since the fish sits on essentially pureed gazpacho and is topped with gazpacho vegetables, I’ve tweaked the name. In fact, she says, “Salmorejo is a variation of gazpacho that I first tasted in Seville. It’s thicker and creamier than regular gazpacho, thanks to relatively large amounts of olive oil and bread. Whipping it in a blender gives it a pretty pink color. It’s traditionally served with Serrano ham and hard boiled eggs. I like to pour a little of the soup into a shallow bowl and top it with a salad and then a sautéed halibut fillet. It’s a surprisingly efficient dish, because the salmorejo and salad are based on the same ingredients, although they have completely different personalities.” If making this dish for two, it halves easily.
- 4 cups crustless, cubed (1/2 inch) stale French or Italian bread
- 4 good tomatoes, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
- 2 cups diced (1/2 inch) red bell peppers (2 medium)
- ½ cup chopped Spanish onion
- ¼ cup chopped fennel
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- ½ jalapeno, chopped
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- ¾ cup, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 4 halibut (or cod) fillets, about 6 ounces each
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 cups diced (1/2 inch) peeled English cucumber (about 1)
- ¼ cup fresh dill leaves
- Put 2 cups of the cubed bread, 8 of the tomato wedges, 1 cup of the bell peppers, the onion, fennel, garlic, jalapeno, ¼ cup of water, and 1 tablespoon of the vinegar in a blender or food processor. Puree until very smooth. With motor running, slowly drizzle in ½ cup of the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. (The puree should be coral colored and creamy) Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made up to 3 days ahead; stir well before serving.)
- Place remaining 2 cups of bread cubes in a large bowl; drizzle with ¼ cup of the olive oil; toss to coat.
- Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add bread cubes and cook, stirring, until they are golden brown all over; season with salt and pepper. (Can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 hours.)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat a large oven-proof heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Coat fish with canola oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Add the fish, skinned side up and cook until well brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Without turning the fish, transfer the pan to the hot oven and roast until fish is just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes longer.
What a lovely recipe! I must see if I can get the book in the UK!
Bev Weidner says
I could seriously snuggle with this meal.