Halibut Baked with Tomatoes and Fennel with a Feta Crumb Crust

With weekend guests and a full schedule of activities, I wanted to make a dish that could be made ahead of time and baked just before dinner time. We are trying to eat more seafood in our house so when I found a recipe for Halibut Baked with Tomatoes and Fennel with a Feta Crumb Crust, I knew it was one I wanted to try.

It is a very visually appealing entree, and I highly recommend you try this recipe. The delicate flavor of the halibut fillets benefits from the combination of tomatoes, fennel, and feta. I liked that it was both the main course and a side dish in one. I also served Crispy Parmesan Potatoes and a tossed salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

With My Oldest off celebrating Homecoming, the remaining family members and our guests enjoyed our dinner after spending a chilly day watching softball and football games. My Middle One and No Thank You Boy were most interested in the Crispy Parmesan Potatoes, but did also liked the halibut. The Husband commented, "The fish looks really good. You know the eye eats first." I have taught him well.

The next time you have dinner guests, impress them with this tasty dish.

Halibut Baked with Tomatoes and Fennel with a Feta Crumb Crust

adapted for a recipe from From the Earth to the Table: John Ash's Wine Country Cuisine

This great dish can be prepared ahead of time, refrigerated, and then baked just before serving. You can use other fish or shellfish, such as sea bass or scallops, in place of the halibut, if you wish.

Serves 6

4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced white onions
2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ½ pounds fresh halibut fillets, about 6 fillets
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons capers
¼ cup white wine

½ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup Panko or other dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic and fennel bulb until softened but not brown. Remove from the heat.

Lightly oil a 3-quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and spread half the onion mixture in the bottom of the dish.

Scatter half the tomatoes on top and season with salt and several grindings of black pepper. Arrange the fish evenly on top of the tomatoes and scatter the basil and capers on top.

Season well with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the wine. Layer with the remaining onion mixture followed by the remaining tomatoes.

To make the topping, crumble the feta cheese. Combine the feta, breadcrumbs, thyme and olive oil together to form a loose topping.

Scatter evenly over the top of the fish. The dish can be refrigerated, covered, at this point for up to 6 hours.

Bake for 30-35 minutes (40-45 if it has been refrigerated) or until the fish is done and the topping is a light golden brown.


Jersey Girl Cooks said...

I definitely will be making this!

Patsyk said...

I love fish, and this dish looks so simple to prepare. I love that it combines so many wonderful flavors.

Robin Sue said...

Eat! I have noticed that you do a fantastic job at making sure your family eats enough fish. I wish we had good fresh fish around here like you do in Jersey, one more thing to miss about NJ!

kat said...

That does look like a tasty way to eat fish

Dragon said...

I love the combination of fish and fennel together. It just works! Your dish is lovely.

That Girl said...

I love tomatoes and feta! I just finished making an omelet with both.

Maria said...

This would make anyone happy at the table!