Baked Alaskan Halibut, Celery Root, Warm Pancetta, Fennel & Thyme Vinaigrette

Pair with Lytton Estate Syrah/Grenache

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Yield: Serves 4


  • 4 – 6oz pieces of fresh halibut
  • 1 – celery root bulb, peeled, halved, and sliced into half inch thick slices
  • 1 – piece fennel, diced into 1/4 inch squares
  • 4oz – pancetta or bacon diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 bunch – of fresh thyme
  • 2 – cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 – shallot
  • 1 – lemon
  • kosher salt
  • fresh pepper
  • olive oil
  • sherry vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 350° F
  • Place fish in a glass baking pan. Season well with salt and pepper. Break off a few sprigs of thyme and place on top of fish.
  • Thinly slice the garlic and shallot and place on the fish as well. Scatter diced fennel around fish. Drizzle liberally with olive oil. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the pieces of fish.
  • Bake in oven for 10 – 15 minutes or until the fish flakes to the touch, being careful not to over cook.
  • While the fish is in the oven heat a sauté pan over medium high heat.
  • Add pancetta to hot pan and cook for 8 – 10 minutes or until crispy. Remove pancetta from pan, reserving the fat.
  • Add a little of the reserved melted pancetta fat to pan, heat over medium high heat until almost smoking.
  • Season the sliced celery root with salt & pepper and add to hot pan. Let sit in pan, without moving for 1 minute or until golden brown. Flip pieces over, turn heat down to medium, and cook until cooked through but still slightly firm, not mushy. Reserve on serving platter.
  • Remove halibut from oven and place on top of celery root. Discard the thyme sprigs.
  • The halibut, lemon and olive oil will have made a lovely, natural sauce at the bottom of the pan. Pour this sauce into a bowl and add pancetta, a splash of sherry vinegar, and a squeeze of lemon. Gently spoon over fish.

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