Pan-Seared Halibut with Tomato Vinaigrette
Shawn McClain of Green Zebra, Chicago / Food and Wine
1½ pounds heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped and juices reserved
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Four 6-ounce skinless halibut fillets
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes and their juices with the shallots, garlic, vinegar, chives, parsley, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of the ground fennel. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, mix the remaining ¾ teaspoon of ground fennel with ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sprinkle the mixture all over the fish. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the halibut and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Flip the fillets and add the butter to the skillet; spoon the butter over the fillets as they cook, about 2 minutes longer.
Transfer the halibut to plates, spoon the tomato vinaigrette on top and serve.