Halibut tronçons with lentils

Halibut tronçons with lentils

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
200g puy lentils
2 banana shallots
2 garlic cloves
1/2 carrot
1/4 bunch sage
1/4 bunch thyme
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
2 tomatoes
very small pinch crushed dried chillies
300ml Chicken and veal stock
4 halibut troncons, cut across the fillet with the bone in, each about 200 g
180ml olive oil
1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Rinse the lentils and soak them in cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. Halve and peel the shallots, then quarter one and finely dice the second. Bash 1 unpeeled garlic clove with the flat side of a large knife; peel and crush the other clove. Peel the carrot and cut in half lengthways. Finely chop enough sage and thyme leaves to give you 1½ teaspoon each, and enough parsley to give you 1–2 tablespoons.
  3. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds, then refresh in cold water, dry and peel. Quarter, deseed and cut into fine dice (concasse).
  4. Drain the lentils and put into a saucepan with the quartered shallot, bashed garlic, carrot, a sprig each of sage, thyme and parsley, and the crushed dried chillies. Pour in the stock. Bring to a simmer and gently cook, uncovered, until the lentils are tender (not breaking up but not with too much of a bite), about 15–20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for the lentils to cool in the stock.
  5. While the lentils are cooking, put the halibut in a bowl and add ½–1 teaspoon each of the chopped sage and thyme and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Finely grate the zest from the lemon over the fish. Rub the halibut steaks in the herbs, zest and oil and leave to marinate for 20 minutes. Heat the oven to 220ºC and the grill to its highest setting.
  6. Meanwhile, for the lentil dressing, heat the remaining olive oil in a medium saucepan over a low heat. Add the diced shallot and cook gently for 5–10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute to soften. Add ¼ teaspoon each of the remaining chopped sage and thyme, with the sherry vinegar. Taste and season well (it needs to be boldly flavoured as it will be added to the lentils), then set aside.
  7. Season the halibut tronçons and place in a roasting tin. Pour over any marinade and roast in the oven for 10–15 minutes. The fish will change from translucent to opaque and feel firm to the touch. Remove the halibut and place under the grill for 1–2 minutes to colour the skin, then set aside to rest for 2–3 minutes. Pour any juices from the tin into the lentil dressing.
  8. Meanwhile, reheat the dressing over a low to medium heat. Drain the lentils, discarding everything but the lentils. Add the drained lentils to the warmed dressing and stir to coat evenly and warm through. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding sherry vinegar or olive oil if necessary. Finally, stir through the chopped tomatoes and parsley.
  9. Divide the lentils between 4 plates and top with a piece of halibut. Drizzle any remaining dressing over the halibut and serve immediately.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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