Lemon-Ginger Poached Halibut with Leeks and Spinach

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Here’s another fabulous “Meatless Monday” recipe. This light, Asian-inflected main course is great served over cooked soba noodles to soak up some of the extra broth.

Just a word to the wise: when we went food shopping and stopped at McCaffrey’s seafood counter, we were shocked to see that halibut was $24.99 a lb! And the few measely pieces on display looked pretty sad, so we said “TaHellWithIt” to the halibut and got cod instead (two 8-oz. fillets), at half that price. Since when did halibut start costing more than lobster and Alaskan king crab legs??

I was hesitant about incorporating the mint, but after reading several reviews raving about the benefits of using it, I went with it — and glad I did. This easy dish is subtly delicate in flavor, and while I tend toward bold, spicy flavors, this was very good! Next time (yes, we’ll definitely make it again), we’ll probably swap out the chicken broth for either vegetable or fish broth to make it truly meatless. And I might even change some of the other ingredients to use lemongrass and fresh basil.

by Jessica Bard from Fine Cooking

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  • 2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. finely grated garlic
  • Finely grated zest and the juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Four 1-inch-thick skinless halibut fillets, 6 to 8 oz. each
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise, rinsed well, and thinly sliced
  • 3 cups lower-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth; more as needed
  • 4 cups lightly packed spinach leaves, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  1. In a small bowl, mix the ginger, garlic, lemon zest, 1 tsp. of the olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Pat the mixture evenly all over one side of the fish.
  2. In a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté, stirring constantly, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the broth and 1 Tbs. of the lemon juice. Cover and bring to a simmer over high heat. Arrange the fish lemon-ginger side up in a single layer on top of the leeks. If necessary, add more broth until the fillets are almost but not completely submerged.
  4. Cover and turn the heat to low. Gently simmer until the fish is just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spatula, transfer the fish to 4 shallow bowls.
  5. Add the spinach, mint, and scallions to the broth and stir until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Season to taste with more lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Ladle the vegetables and broth around the fish and serve.

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