Food The Bite:

Cedar-Grilled Halibut With Preserved Lemon and Fennel Relish

Cedar-Grilled Halibut With Preserved Lemon and Fennel Relish
Holy Halibut!

 

 

I love grilling on a cedar plank—the wood provides a stable surface on which to gently steam any hearty fish, keeping it tender and moist while infusing it with fantastic, woodsy flavor. Here, I pair halibut with a preserved lemon and fennel relish that I came up with while riffing and playing in a friend’s kitchen—my favorite way to cook. My son, for one, is obsessed with the combination. Either way, be sure to soak your cedar plank in water for at least an hour before placing it on the grill so that it doesn’t dry out and burn during cooking.

Cedar-Grilled Halibut With Preserved Lemon and Fennel Relish

Athena Calderone, Cook Beautiful

Ingredients

SERVES 4

FOR THE RELISH

1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

3 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeño

1 preserved lemon (store-bought), rind only, finely chopped

2⁄3 cup finely chopped fennel Salt and freshly cracked pepper

 

FOR THE HALIBUT AND TOMATOES

1 cedar plank

4 halibut fillets, skin removed

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly cracked pepper

2 pints Sun Gold cherry tomatoes

2 teaspoons champagne vinegar

1⁄2 lemon

Method

Make the relish: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, vinegar, and honey. Stir in the dill, jalapeño, and preserved lemon. Add the fennel and toss until it’s evenly coated. Sea- son with salt and pepper and set aside. The chutney can be made an hour or two in advance, but is best when it’s fresh and bright.

Make the halibut and tomatoes: Preheat the grill over medium-high heat to about 400°F (205 ̊C). Drizzle the fish with oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay the cedar plank on the grill and place the fish on the plank. Close the lid of the grill and cook for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a cast-iron skillet. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the skillet on the grill next to the cedar plank and close the lid. Continue to cook until the fish is just opaque throughout and the tomatoes have begun to burst, 6 to 7 minutes. Drizzle the tomatoes with the vinegar and cook 1 minute more.

Transfer the fish to a serving platter and scatter it with the tomatoes. Spoon some of the relish around the fish, garnish with chopped dill, and finish with a squeeze of lemon. Serve with extra relish on the side.

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