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By Chef Minette Lotz 

Foraged juniper aioli, fromage frais, Naramata pears, gem lettuce, honey

 

This dish is an excellent way to celebrate spring! With plenty of steps that you can do ahead of time, it’s great for entertaining or a quick weeknight dinner. Read until the end to get some tips on how to perfectly cook halibut!

 

Juniper oil:

1/4c juniper berries

1 cup canola oil

 

Make juniper oil by combining foraged juniper berries and canola oil in a blender. Blend on medium for about 45 seconds. Strain through a coffee filter and keep refrigerated for up to a month.

 

Aioli:

2 tbsp Juniper oil

2 egg yolks

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp mustard powder

2 tsp salt

1/2 cup canola oil

 

Make the Aioli by combining all ingredients, except the oil, in a blender. Blend on low until just combined. Slowly add the oil while running the blender on low speed. The sauce should be thick and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

 

Fromage frais:

2 cups full fat plain yogurt (not Greek)

1 tsp salt

 

Make fromage frais by stirring the yogurt and salt together. Place in a cheesecloth or coffee filter to strain overnight in the fridge. Remover from the cheesecloth, taste and season as needed. Will keep refrigerated for up to a week.

 

Honey dressing:

1/4 C high quality honey

2 tsp mustard powder

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tsp salt 

3/4 cup canola oil

 

Make the dressingi by combining all ingredients, except the oil, in a blender. Blend on low until just combined. Slowly add the oil while running the blender on low speed to emulsify. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Will keep refrigerated for up to a week.

 

Other ingredients:

 

Canola oil (for searing)

6oz piece of fresh Wild Pacific Halibut, skin removed

Salt to season

Fresh gem or butter lettuce

Okanagan pears, sliced

To assemble the dish:

 

Cooking the perfect Halibut:

 

Preheat your oven to 400F.

 

Meanwhile, place your halibut on a piece of paper towel to dry off and season with kosher salt. For a perfect sear, the surface of the filet should be dry.

 

Place a pan with a heat proof handle on medium-high heat to warm up. Once hot, add about 2 tbsp of canola oil and wait until the oil just barely starts to smoke. 

 

Carefully place the halibut in the pan, with the skin side up and away from the heat. Allow the fish to cook until the edges turn golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat, gently flip your halibut over, and place in the oven for 2-3 minutes until your halibut is perfectly cooked. Remove from the pan and set aside.

 

To finish the dish:

 

In a bowl, dress your lettuce and pears with the honey dressing to your taste. Place fromage frais on your plate, place the halibut on top. Plate your salad beside the halibut. Finally, top your halibut with a generous dollop of the foraged juniper aioli.