Sometimes when I go to grocery store, I know exactly what I want to cook with the fish or chicken I buy, while other times, like this, I have absolutely no clue. After picking up a couple nice pieces of halibut, I knew that I wanted to pan sear the fish, but that was as far I had gone for planning the meal.
Because the vegetarian doesn’t eat halibut (or any fish for that matter), I needed something that was full of protein, but had no tofu in the house. This gave me the idea of making lentils braised in red wine with onions and carrots. I adapted my lentils from a Nigella Lawson recipe which was quite easy to make. Luckily I had the required Beluga lentils which were brought back from the oh-so-great Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
This dish may have been made just a tad bit better with a simple sauce that would have given the roasted potatoes and baby fennel a little extra zip, but I did not make one and it still turned out delicious. The baby fennel was used in a both the lentils and the roasted vegetables.
For the Lentils:
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s recipe
Serves 4-6 as a side dish/accompaniment
1 carrot, 1/4″ dice
1 medium yellow onion, 1/4″ dice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed (I had exactly this much lentils left)
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
~2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons fennel fronds
In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. When hot, add onion and carrot and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened.
Add lentils to pan and mix well to allow lentils to soak up any oil in the pan.
Add bay leaves, wine and enough water (or slightly less) so that lentils are just covered with liquid. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook lentils for about 30 minutes or until they are tender. Mix in fennel fronds. Stir lentils occasionally and when they are ready serve with pan seared halibut, roasted potatoes and fennel.
For the Halibut:
2 6-8oz halibut filets
Heat a nonstick pan with enough olive oil to coat pan over medium-high heat. While heating, pat halibut dry and season well with salt and pepper on both sides. When oil is hot add halibut and cook for about 3 minutes until bottom is golden brown and flip for an additional 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Serve over lentils and enjoy!!
For the roasted potatoes and fennel:
~6-8 baby yukon gold potatoes
small bunch of baby fennel, fronds removed, fennel cut into small pieces
Preheat over to 375. Cut potatoes in half, or quarters if they are a bit larger. Add potatoes and fennel to a bowl and toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add to a roasting dish and cook for about 30-40 minutes. You can add them to the oven when you start the lentils.