Baked Alaskan Halibut, Celery Root, Warm Pancetta, Fennel & Thyme Vinaigrette
Pair with Lytton Estate Syrah/Grenache
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.