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Grilled Halibut Salad Nicoise
1 h 10 m
1 h 30 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Salad nicoise, a classic French salad, is typically made with tuna. Here we use sweet grilled halibut (in season in midsummer) or striped bass. To make it quicker, substitute 2 or 3 cans of drained chunk light tuna. Or skip the fish altogether for a vegetarian main-course salad. We call for serving it on a platter, but it's just as beautiful individually plated. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.”
1 medium clove garlic
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice, plus more to taste
¼ cup white-wine vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1½ pounds red potatoes (5-6 medium), scrubbed and halved
1¼ pounds green beans, trimmed
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt, divided
1 pound Pacific halibut or striped bass (see Note)
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper, plus more to taste
1 large head Boston lettuce
1½ cups grape tomatoes
3 hard-boiled eggs (see Tip), peeled and cut into wedges
¼ cup sliced pitted black NiÀ§oise or Kalamata olives
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1To prepare vinaigrette: Peel the garlic and smash with the side of a chef's knife. Using a fork, mash the garlic with ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl to form a coarse paste. Whisk in 5 tablespoons oil. Add 6 tablespoons orange juice, vinegar and mustard; whisk until well blended. Taste and whisk in up to 4 tablespoons more juice to mellow the flavor; season with more salt, if desired. Set aside at room temperature.
2To prepare salad: Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add potatoes; cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, slice and place in a shallow bowl. Drizzle with ⅓ cup vinaigrette; set aside.
3Add beans to the steamer basket; cook until bright green and just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Rinse in a colander with cold water until cool. Drain well. Place in a medium bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette.
4Combine lemon juice, 2 tablespoons oil and ¼ teaspoon salt in a sturdy sealable plastic bag; shake until the salt dissolves. Add fish and marinate for up to 20 minutes while you ready the grill.
5Preheat grill to medium-high for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to medium. (For a charcoal grill, wait until the flames subside and only coals and some ash remain—flames will cause the oil on the fish to burn.)
6Drain the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the fish, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side for halibut; 3 to 4 minutes per side for bass.
7Arrange lettuce leaves on a large serving platter. Arrange the fish (whole or flaked into large chunks), potatoes, green beans and tomatoes on top. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Garnish with eggs, olives, parsley and pepper to taste.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare potatoes (Step 2) and green beans (Step 3), cover and refrigerate separately for up to 3 days.
Ingredient Note: Wild-caught halibut from the Pacific is sustainably fished and has a larger, more stable population, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch (seafoodwatch.org).
Kitchen Tips: To hard-boil eggs, place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook at the barest simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, pour out hot water and cover with ice-cold water. Let stand until cool enough to handle before peeling.
To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)
Fish on foil: Fish that flakes easily requires a delicate touch to flip on the grill. If you want to skip turning it over when grilling, measure a piece of foil large enough to hold the fish and coat it with cooking spray. Grill the fish on the foil (without turning) until it flakes easily and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.