Alaskan Halibut with Carrot Puree, Asparagus, and Pistou

Here’s another outstanding recipe from the AOC cookbook. Not only is this recipe delicious and easy to make, it’s packed with nutrients and very healthy for you.  In case you didn't know, pea shoots and carrots are full of carotenes and phytochemicals, which among other things, have important anti-oxidant properties.  The flavor of the pea shoots in this dish is my favorite part. If they aren't available at your local supermarket, try finding them in an Asian market.

Makes 6 servings



  • 6 Alaskan halibut fillets, 5 to 6 ounces each
  • 1 lemon zested and reserved for juicing
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced spring onions plus 1/2 cup sliced spring onion tops
  • 3/4 pound asparagus, sliced on the diagonal into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces of pea shoots
  • 6 tablespoons of creme fraiche
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the carrot puree:

  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • Handful of basil stems
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pistou

  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



Step 1: Season the fish with the grated lemon zest, 1 tablespoon thyme, and the parsley. Cover ad refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Step 2: For the carrot puree: Steam the carrots with the basil stems for about 20 minutes until tender.  
Step 3: When the carrots are almost done, heat a Dutch oven over high heat for 1 minute.  Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil and onions. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, and cook onions for about 5 minutes stirring often until onions are translucent.
Step 4: Add the steamed carrots and cook for another 8 minutes, stirring and scraping the pan until the carrots are lightly caramelized.  
Step 5: Puree the mixture in a food processor until it’s smooth.  With the motor running, slowly pour in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, and process until the oil is incorporated and puree is very smooth.  Taste for seasoning and set aside.
Step 6: To make the pistou: Add the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and one-third of the basil leaves to the bowl of a food processor.  Process until combined.  Continue with the rest of the basil and parsley. Slowly add the olive oil and season to taste with pepper and more salt if needed. Set aside.
Step 7: Remove the fish from the refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking to bring it to room temperature.
Step 8: Heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 2 minutes.  Swirl 2 tablespoons olive oil into the pan and wait 1 minute. 
Step 9: Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Carefully lay fish in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until it’s lightly browned. Turn the fish over, lower the heat to medium low and cook for a few more minutes. When it’s done, the fish will begin to flake and separate a little, and the center will still be slightly translucent.
Step 10: Heat a clean large sauté pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, let heat for a minute, and then add the sliced spring onions, asparagus, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a pinch of pepper, and the remaining teaspoon of thyme. 
Step 11: Cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until onions are translucent.  
Step 12: Add the butter and 1 tablespoon water. Swirl the pan, and when the liquid comes to a simmer, toss in the pea shoots and onion tops.  Immediately remove from the heat, and squeeze a little lemon juice over the vegetables. Taste for seasoning.
Step 13: To assemble the dish: Spoon dollops of warm carrot puree onto each of 6 plates and then arrange the vegetables over the puree. Place the fish fillets at the center of the plate, and top each with a dollop of creme fraiche.  Spoon the pistou over the creme fraiche and the fish and around the plate.


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