Halibut with hazelnut sauce and smoky roasted carrots

Sophie Grigson makes a delicious sauce, thickened with bread and ground hazelnuts, to serve with her dinner party main course
By Sophie Grigson
Halibut with hazelnut sauce and smoky roasted carrots
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the smoky roasted carrots

  • 400 g baby or chantenay carrots, left whole if small, or quartered lengthways if large
  • 6 cloves garlic, left whole and unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp smoked pimentón, or paprika

For the halibut

  • 4 small halibut steaks, or 2 large steaks, 2.5cm thick
  • 0.5 lemons, juice only
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • lemon wedges, to serve

For the hazelnut sauce

  • 110 g shelled hazelnuts, toasted, papery skins removed
  • 2 slices stale white bread, crusts removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 100-150 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice only

For the stir-fried spinach

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil, or vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 300 g spinach

Tips and Suggestions

smoked pimentón is a smoked Spanish paprika. You can use the sweet, mild paprika known as pimentón dulce, or if you like your food with more of a kick then try the hotter paprika, pimentón picante.

Method

1. For the smoky roasted carrots: preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7.

2. Tip the carrots into a shallow ovenproof dish that's large enough to take them in a single layer, add the garlic cloves and olive oil then stir everything together so that the carrots are coated with the oil. Season with sea salt.

3. Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the carrots are tender and golden brown in places. Sprinkle lightly with smoked pimento, stir and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

4. For the halibut: while the carrots are roasting, drizzle the lemon juice over the halibut steaks and season with a generous pinch of salt. Set aside for half an hour to marinate.

5. For the hazelnut sauce: while the halibut is marinating, tip the hazelnuts into the bowl of a food processor and grind to a powder.

6. Place the slices of bread into a shallow dish and cover with cold water. Leave for a few seconds then drain the water and the squeeze the bread firmly to remove any excess water.

7. Add the bread to the hazelnuts in the food processor, along with the garlic and parsley. Turn the food processor on and gradually drizzle in the olive oil, blending until you have a thick, creamy sauce.

8. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add lemon juice, to taste.

9. To cook the halibut, preheat the grill to high. Brush the halibut steaks with a little olive oil and grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through.

10. For the stir-fried spinach: while the halibut is cooking, heat the sunflower oil in a wok over a high heat until it smokes. Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds then tip in the spinach.

11. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes, until the leaves are just wilting, then transfer to a serving dish.

12. Serve the halibut steaks with wedges of lemon, the hazelnut sauce and the smoky roasted carrots and stir-fried spinach alongside.

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