I am SO excited to share this recipe with you guys for so many reasons. Obviously, the first one is because it’s super delicious – otherwise who would even care? Secondly, I love any dish that you can serve directly in your cooking vessel because that’s always such a pleasure. Third – and really the most exciting – is poaching fish in this manner is such an EASY and approachable way for people to enjoy cooking fish at home. Cooking fish can be INTIMIDATING – maybe it smells, maybe the fish falls apart when you try to flip it – this style of cooking your fish eliminates all of these risk factors and above all, creates a complex and robust dish with minimal effort.
SHOPPING LIST: 1 lb. halibut, 1 jar of tomato sauce, 1 can of quartered artichoke hearts, pitted kalamata olives, red wine, chopped garlic, 1 lemon, feta cheese, parsley, grapeseed oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder
Before we begin, let me sing my praises for Mia’s Kitchen Kale Pasta Sauce – I would recommend using a pasta sauce that has “STUFF” in it – the more complex your sauce, the more complex your saganaki is going to turn out. The first thing you want to do is slice your halibut in about 1 inch cubes, thoroughly season your cubes with salt, pepper and garlic powder and set aside.
Strain your quartered artichokes and make sure they are patted very dry. In a sauce pan, add 2 tB. of grapeseed oil and sauté 2 tB. of garlic with your quartered artichokes until your artichokes are blistered and crispy. Season with salt and pepper. Next, add 1/4 cup of HALVED kalamata olives and 2 cups of your preferred tomato sauce and bring it a simmer. Once your sauce is simmering, add 1/2 cup of red wine and continue to simmer for 5 minutes or until the alcohol has cooked out of the wine. Finally, add your halibut cubes, shimmying them into the mix of sauce and vegetables, reduce to LOW heat, and COVER for 10 minutes.
While your fish is poaching in the sauce, ROUGH chop 1/4 cup of parsley and ZEST your entire lemon. When you remove the cover from your saucepan, sprinkle your cooked saganaki with your final ingredients – the roughly chopped parsley, the zest of one lemon and then 1/3 cup of feta (or more if you want, this is your dish after all!)
I have to mention that Saganaki is a very traditional Greek dish. What I love about it, other than it being an easy thing to re-create at home, is that it breaks the lame rule that fish and cheese don’t mix. THERE ARE NO RULES WHEN IT COMES TO COOKING! THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT SO FUN! As always, I have to to encourage you to be creative with your protein. ANY thicker white fleshed fish would work well here, and SHRIMP saganaki is a classic combination. Or another alternative, use this tomato-wine base to steam MUSSELS, once your shells have opened, top them with the same trio of the lemon, feta and parsley before serving.