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Figs and Fish. Halibut to be Specific

Figs and Fish. Halibut to be Specific

My favorite way to eat a fig is straight from the tree while the fruit is still warm from the sun and the neighbors I foraged it from aren’t looking. This isn’t always possible during these times of pandemic. Everyone is home and you never know who is gazing out the window yearning for the life they’ve put on hold. So if you’re like me – searching for a new way to eat those clandestine figs – I’m here to say roasted figs go incredibly well with fish. Figs and fish. It’s certainly an alliteration.

I haven’t made a big deal about cooking this summer. I can’t quite find the juice. Don’t worry we’re still eating well. I’m just putting a lot less thought into what I prepare each night. My last few posts wouldn’t even count as cooking for most of us.

Figs and Fish

But what about today’s post? Do roasted figs and fish count as cooking? When I started I only had a vague roadmap inspired by Valley Fig Growers of what I wanted on the plate. I figured it was a good time to do something I hadn’t done in a long time. Leave the cookbooks and the recipes behind and cook on the fly and in real-time. And take notes. So I grabbed a pen and paper (my iPad is way too old at this point) and announced to Ken that we’re eating in 30 minutes so he better go pick a wine.

.…this is what I came up with. GREG

PS I’ve always been a fig fiend. I’ve even got a video from 2008 to prove it. Follow the link then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and click on the photo. Blogs (and blog videos) sure have come along way since then.

Figs and fish. Halibut to be specific.

Roasted Figs and Halibut

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Roasted Figs with Halibut

Ingredients

  • 2 slice sandwich bread (with crusts)
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper (as needed for seasoning)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 4 skinless thick center-cut halibut fillets (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 8–10 fresh ripe figs (stems trimmed and fruit halved)
  • ½ orange

Directions

Tear the bread into small pieces and place them in a bowl. Toss the breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon of olive oil stirring until the oil is absorbed and well distributed. Season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until nicely toasted. Stir in the chopped parsley and dump the mixture onto a plate to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Place the oven rack in the center position. Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Peel and halve the onion then cut each half lengthwise into shards about 1‑inch wide. Break the layers up and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast-iron or oven-proof non-stick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and season them well with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until softened and beginning to color at the edges; about 8 minutes. Stir in the orange zest and chopped oregano arranging the onions on either side of the skillet. Lay the fish fillets, without touching each other, directly on the cleared center surface of the skillet then scatter the halved figs around the fish. Squeeze the juice from the orange half over everything in the skillet and nestle the spent orange half into the skillet.

Move the skillet to the center rack of the heated oven and roast the fish until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the flesh reads between 117° and 120° F, about 10 to 12 minutes. Don’t overcook it. Halibut will become opaque and begin to flake at 117°.

Finally, let the fish rest in a warm spot, preferably on a rack, for about five minutes. Serve the fish topped with the figs, onions, a little pan juice, and breadcrumbs.