Scrumptious Seafood: Lavender-crusted Halibut with Raspberry Sauce and Peashoot Salad

I have never been daring enough to cook with lavender, although enjoy treats made with it – lavender chocolates, cookies, and ice cream – yum! Every year, as the lavender in my garden comes into bloom, I am inspired to try cooking or baking with it, but lavender has a strong and distinct flavour that turns me into a coward in the kitchen. This recipe from the Cannery Seafood House Cookbook, doesn’t call for much. This just might be the recipe to try!

Lavender-crusted Halibut with Raspberry Sauce and Pea Shoot Salad

Crust:

  • 1 tbsp lavender
  • 1 ½ tsp fresh parsley
  • ½ cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Combine lavender, parsley and bread crumbs in a food processor. Mix for 1 minute, then add olive oil. Mix briefly. Season with salt and pepper, then set crust aside to dry for a day.

Sauce:

  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • ÂĽ cup ruby port
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • Pinch of crusted black pepper
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 egg yolks

Heat 1 tsp of the butter in a saucepan on medium heat and sauté shallot for 2 minutes, until translucent. Deglaze the pan with port and cook until reduced to half, about 1 minute. Turn down the heat to low. Add raspberries and pepper, then cook for 5 minutes. Add two-thirds of the whipping cream and cook for 2 minutes.

Transfer sauce to a blender or food processor and mix well. Strain through a sieve to remove berry seeds. Clean the blender or food processor and put the sauce back in it. Process on medium speed for 10 seconds. Mix in egg yolks one by one, then slowly add the rest of the melted butter. Season to taste with salt.

Halibut:

  • 4 fillets halibut (for the sustainable option select Alaskan or Pacific halibut)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Season halibut with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan on medium heat, then sear halibut for 1 minute. Turn fish over and place lavender crust mixture on top. Bake in the oven for about 3 minutes, until golden (depending on the thickness of the halibut).

Salad:

  • 3 cups pea shoots or mesclun
  • 1 tsp blackberry vinegar or raspberry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp walnut oil or olive oil

While the halibut is cooking, toss the pea shoots, blackberry vinegar and walnut oil in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To Serve:

Finish the sauce by bringing the remaining whipping cream to a boil in a saucepan on medium heat, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and slowly stir in the sauce. Mix well.

Divide salad among 4 plates. Remove halibut from the oven, drain on paper towels and place one fillet in each plate. Pour a pool of warm sauce on the side of each plate.

Recipe adapted from: FrĂ©dĂ©ric Couton’s The Cannery Seafood House Cookbook.

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