This refreshing appetizer is perfect for entertaining. It’s a bright way to kick off any event. It’s casual enough for an al fresco get-together, and elegant enough for a wedding reception. And it pairs beautifully with our Wild Yeast Chardonnay. Cheers and enjoy!
Halibut Crudo with Burnt Lemon Vinaigrette and Fennel Pollen Mayo
By Chef Cristina Topham
Yield: 2-3 Appetizer Portions
For the Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup lemon juice from burnt lemons (see below)
1 Tablespoon shallots, minced
½ teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for charring the lemons
½ pound very fresh (preferably sushi quality) halibut or albacore
salt & pepper to taste
3 cups mixed greens
For the Mayo:
(the cheater method)
½ cup good quality, store-bought mayonnaise (such as Sir Kensington or the Ojai Cook)
¼ teaspoon California Fennel Pollen (available in specialty spice stores and online)
Remaining burnt lemon juice (1-2 teaspoons)
1. For the burnt lemons: Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat, until smoking hot. Halve two lemons, crosswise. Drizzle pan with just enough olive oil to thinly coat. Place lemons cut side down and cook on medium heat until lemons become very charred and dark. Remove lemons from pan and place, cut side down, on a plate so they continue to steam from the residual heat. Allow lemons to sit for 5 minutes while you prep your remaining ingredients. When lemons have begun to soften, extract the juice, reserving 1/3 cup for the vinaigrette and the remainder for the mayonnaise.
2. In a small bowl combine lemon juice, shallots, thyme and Dijon mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil.
3. Remove any skin, bones or bloodline (which can taste very strong) from halibut and dice into ½ inch cubes. Toss halibut with ½ of the vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste. This is best made 30 minutes ahead. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.
4. For the mayo: Combine mayo with fennel pollen and remaining lemon. Whisk until combined.
5. To assemble: Split halibut crudo between two plates. Drizzle halibut with fennel pollen mayo. Toss mixed greens with a tablespoon of burnt lemon vinaigrette, season to taste, place on top of crudo and serve!
Cristina Topham is the chef-owner of Spread Catering Company, based in Sonoma. Visit her website for more info:www.spreadcatering.com