Pepper Jelly Halibut with Crispy Beluga Lentils, Asparagus and TomatoesTo celebrate the launch of our new Double Burner Griddle, our friend Lauren Chandler created a series of inspiring recipes, sure to be the star of your next dinner. First up is a Pepper Jelly Halibut with lentils, asparagus, and tomatoes – perfect for summer. Lauren is a Portland-based chef and instructor at Lauren Chandler Cooks and at the Master of Science in Nutrition program at the National University of Natural Medicine. An experienced traveler & adventurer, she’s also cooked and rock climbed around the world.
Pepper Jelly Halibut with Crispy Beluga Lentils, Asparagus and Tomatoes
- 1 cup Beluga lentils (or French or Puy lentils)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 1 small fennel with fronds, bulb thinly sliced, fronds roughly chopped for garnish
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1 pint tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3 lemons
- ¼ cup pepper jelly
- 2 pounds halibut
- ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place a FINEX griddle in the oven and turn the oven on high broil.
- Pour the lentils onto a piece of parchment paper or a white surface like a plate and sift through them, removing any debris. Rinse the lentils in a sieve or colander with water and drain, then transfer them to a FINEX Dutch Oven and cover with at least 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, until the lentils just become tender. Drain in a colander, rinse gently with cool water and drain well again, then transfer to a clean dish towel to dry. It is important that little to no water is clinging to the lentils, so pat dry if necessary.
- While the lentils are cooking, prepare the vegetables. Combine the sliced fennel and onion in a large bowl. When the lentils are cooked and dry, add them to the bowl and use your hands to coat the ingredients evenly with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Carefully remove the griddle from the oven and evenly distribute the lentils, onion, and fennel in an even layer around the griddle, leaving empty space the length and width of the fish down the center of the griddle.
- Toss the tomatoes and asparagus with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ pepper in the bowl. Leave the asparagus in the bowl and place the tomatoes down the center of the griddle. (Later, the halibut will cook on top of the tomatoes and the asparagus will also go into the oven at that point.) Slice two of the lemons in half and nestle them among the lentils and vegetables, cut-side up. Place the griddle on the top rack and broil, stirring just a little after 6-7 minutes. Continue to cook until the cut-side of the lemons, the fennel, and the onions start to brown, the tomatoes start to brown and soften, and the lentils start to brown and crack, about 9-11 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn off the broiler and heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the pepper jelly, the juice of the remaining lemon, and the remaining olive oil. Spoon half of the pepper jelly mixture on top of the tomatoes. Season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides, then rest it on top of the tomatoes. Spoon the rest of the pepper jelly sauce on top of the fish. Scatter the asparagus around the fish then return to the oven and cook until the fish is just opaque in the center and starts to flake, 15-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Turn the oven to high broil, place the griddle back on the top rack and broil for 2-3 minutes, until the jelly starts to brown on top of the fish.
- Remove from the oven and use tongs to squeeze juice from one of the lemon halves onto the fish, vegetables, and lentils. Sprinkle the almonds and fennel fronds on top and serve immediately.