Baked Halibut with Tomato Caper Sauce

Makes 6 servings



For the Tomato Caper Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 plump garlic cloves, minced or mashed in a mortar and pestle
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained, rinsed and finely chopped or mashed with the garlic in a mortar and pestle
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped, or 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • Salt, preferably kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon slivered fresh basil leaves

For the Baked Halibut:

  • 1 recipe tomato-caper sauce
  • 6 6-ounce halibut fillets 
  • Salt, preferably kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 lemon slices


Step 1: For the Tomato Caper Sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, and add the onion.
Cook, stirring often, until tender, three to five minutes, and add the garlic and the capers. Cook, stirring, for three to five minutes, until the onion has softened thoroughly and the mixture is fragrant. 
Step 2: Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce is thick and fragrant. Taste and adjust seasonings. Makes 2-1/2 cups
Step 3: For the Bake Halibut: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Oil a baking dish large enough for the fish to lie flat. Season the fish with salt and pepper, and arrange in the baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the fillets, and place a round of lemon on each one. 
Step 4: Cover the dish tightly with foil, and place in the oven. Bake 15 minutes. Check the fish; if you can cut into it with a fork, it is done. If it doesn’t yield, (halibut fillets tend to be thick can take time to cook), cover and return to the oven for five minutes. Remove from the oven, and check again. Remove the lemon slices from the fish.
Step 5: Place a spoonful of sauce on each plate, and place a piece of fish partially on top. Spoon some of the liquid from the baking dish over the fish. If you wish, top the fish with another spoonful of sauce, garnish with basil leaves and serve.

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