As prominent as Cinghiale, porcini and cured meats are to central Italy, so too is seafood along the coastal regions of the country.  Rules are simple;  pretty much anything goes, but within that loose framework,  use what’s in season and freshness is paramount.  With this in mind, I set about to create the latest recipe. 

~ The flavorful base of the dish ~

Pan Roasted Halibut alla Giardino

What does this mean? Simple.  I found some fresh wild Halibut at the market that looked gorgeous and then took “what the garden gave” and made a wonderful “hash” to top it with.  

2 pounds fresh, wild Halibut
2 ears corn, shucked, raw
1 bulb fresh fennel, sliced, fronds reserved
1/2 sweet vidalia onion, sliced
1 zucchini, quartered and chopped
1 salt packed anchovy, diced small
About 24 grape tomatoes, halved
Fresh basil
Start by sauteing the onion, fennel and anchovy in a few tablespoons of olive until they soften.  Add the corn and continue simmering until the corn is cooked, about 5-10 minutes on medium heat.  Drizzle in more olive oil as needed.  Once the corn is cooked, add the zucchini and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes more.  Then remove from heat and set aside. 

Season the Halibut with salt and pepper and pan roast with some vegetable oil, skin side down over medium heat.  Once the skin crisps and the fish turns white half way up, it’s ready to flip.  Flip once and leave it alone.  Cover the pan with aluminum foil and cook covered for about 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.  The pieces I had were almost 1″ thick and they took about 15 minutes in total to cook. 

Once the fish is done,  return the “hash” to the heat and add a generous handful of chopped basil – I used a lot. What the garden gave!  And I have tons.  About a minute before serving, toss in the tomatoes and stir so that they warm through without wilting.   Plate the fish and top with the vegetable hash. 

~ Pan Roasted Halibut with Garden “Hash” ~

This dish bursts with summer flavor and was absolutely delicious and easy to create.   To drink?  We had a French Rose and a Roman Frascati! 

Salute and Happy Fourth!
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