Tim and I decided to make dinner together for Valentine's Day. We picked out a really yummy halibut recipe that's easy to make but definitely feels perfect for a special occasion. Potatoes and fennel get roasted in the oven while an easy tomato sauce simmers on the stove - with orange zest as the secret ingredient that sounds unusual but is actually really tasty. When the fish is layered in between the various veggies, it creates an excellent one-dish meal (well, two if you count the skillet for the sauce - but still, low on the cleanup!). Along with homemade heart-shaped sugar cookies, Roxbury Road ice cream, and chocolate-covered gummy bears, it was the perfect Valentine's Day dinner!
Baked Halibut with Roasted Potatoes and Fennel (adapted from Feasts and Fotos, original recipe here)
1/2 pound fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup white wine
2 T chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 tsp grated orange rind (a microplane works well)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
14-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped
10-12 ounces halibut, or another firm white fish
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the potatoes and fennel with enough olive oil to lightly coat and season with salt and pepper. Bake 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost tender.
2. Heat about 1/2 tsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the fennel seeds and garlic, and saute for one minute. Add the wine, half the parsley, the orange zest, oregano, and tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
3. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Place on top of the potato mixture and then spread the tomato sauce over the fish. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 more minutes until the fish flakes easily. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley.
Tim may have a new career as a fish model...