Halibut with Chopped Olive Salad

serves 6

  • 1/2 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers from jar
  • 1/3 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
  • 1/3 cup chopped pitted brine-cured green olives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 6-ounce halibut or sea bass fillets (each about 3/4 inch thick)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

Combine first 6 ingredients and 6 tablespoons oil in bowl. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil rimmed baking sheet. Place fish on sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour white wine around fish. Bake until fish is opaque in center, about 12 minutes.

Transfer fish to plates. Spoon chopped olive salad over fish and serve.

*Due to Jim’s repulsion to olives I made a version omitting the little guys. For me, I think I had as much olive mixture as I did fish. I added a pat of butter and sautéed the mixtures for about a minute, and browned the halibut before putting it in the oven.

Isn't he spoiled?

If you are cooking for someone other than yourself,  I am sure there are ingredients on which you have to compromise. I am fascinated by the way people taste things differently. Jim loves raw onions. Not only do I not like them, I don’t understand how he tastes any other part of a dish if raw onions are a component. He swears he can. I still have my doubts.
There are only a few things Jim doesn’t like, nuts (although pecans are becoming more acceptable), olives, and beets, which happen to be some of my favorite things. I can live without the beets and nuts. Maybe. Olives? Unthinkable. I have been coercive in getting him to try them time and time again, and still he looks like a baby does when you give them a pickle. Adorable, but not having it. I kept telling him maybe he just didn’t have the right dish. Wishful thinking on my part. I have officially waived the white flag in the Olive Beet War of 2004-2010.
Unfortunately, he is allergic to mushrooms, which I can’t count as a dislike, but it’s kind of the same thing. I can’t cook them for us. He continued to eat them for a while even though they made him sick. This became silly because I wouldn’t enjoy them because I know he couldn’t either. Now I  enjoy them by adding them to dishes that I make two ways, one with mushrooms, one without, and order mushroom dishes when we go out.  See, compromise.
I just remembered something else that totally grosses Jim out that I eat. Baby food. Yes, baby food. Not peas, and meats, just peaches, and plums (which they don’t make anymore). My mother and I always ate them when I was growing up, and it’s one of those things I get a craving for now. I don’t eat it all the time. I did get him to eat it with oatmeal once, but I don’t think I told him it was baby food 😉
Besides a few minor culinary differences between the two of us, (he does not like coffee ice cream, which I love, and thinks it’s gross that I put vinegar on my fried fish), it really is peachy cooking for someone who will try almost anything, and who ends up liking almost everything that I do. A plus to not liking all the same things equally is I get all the extra crispy brown parts of things that I love, the corners, and the first bite in anything shaped like a triangle. I am never sure if this is a wonderful coincidence, or he just loves me that much and secretly wishes he could have the bread ends. I am sure about the love part, the bread ends I may never know.
This weekend, having liver pate for the first time, we found one of the few things both of us don’t enjoy. Really don’t enjoy. For me it can be almost as enjoyable not liking something together as it can be loving something together. I think there are a few things I have been putting off trying for a reason. I should listen to my gut. We haven’t forgot you either, pork rind. Shudder.
I put the fish over these delicious lemon roasted potatoes, and some quick steamed asparagus. I used Yukon golds instead of the russets.

Greek Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Serves 8

  • 4 large russet baking potatoes, (8 medium), peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, (3 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Greek oregano, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Place potatoes in a metal roasting pan large enough to fit potatoes in a single layer. Add 1 cup water, olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss potatoes until well coated.
  2. Bake, uncovered, until fork-tender and brown on the edges, about 50 minutes. Turn potatoes halfway through for even browning; add water if all the liquid has been absorbed, before they have fully browned. If desired, garnish with oregano; serve.

See what I mean about the olive ratio? It does look prettier with a little less, but pretty doesn't always mean better.

We also tried this new wine, which we loved.