This was one of my more "gourmet" endeavors. It turned out beautifully, and even looked pretty. It is a good winter time seafood dish, as you can use any winter squash or root vegetable.
- 4 pounds butternut squash (about 2 medium)
- 1 pound beets (about 2 large)
- 1 medium onion
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 4 large garlic cloves
- four 5-ounce skinless halibut fillets
- Accompaniment: spicy cilantro sauce
Preheat oven to 450°F. Halve squash lengthwise and discard seeds. Peel squash and cut enough 3/4-inch cubes to measure 6 cups. Trim and peel beets. Cut beets and onion into 3/4-inch cubes. In a 17- by 11-inch roasting pan toss squash, beets, and onion with oil until coated and season with salt and pepper.
Roast vegetables in middle of oven 25 minutes. Thinly slice garlic and scatter over vegetables. Roast vegetables 8 minutes more, or until barely tender. Season halibut with salt and pepper and arrange on top of vegetables. Roast halibut in middle of oven until just cooked through, about 8 minutes.
Serve halibut over vegetables with sauce.
Spicy Cilantro Sauce:
- 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves
- 2 shallots
- 1 large garlic clove
- 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh gingerroot
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or wheat free Tamari
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Have ready a bowl of ice water. In a small saucepan of boiling water blanch cilantro and parsley 10 seconds and drain in a sieve. Refresh herbs in ice water and drain in sieve. Chop shallots and garlic.
In a small nonstick skillet cook shallots, garlic, gingerroot, cumin, and red pepper flakes in 1 tablespoon water and oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until shallots are softened. In a blender purée shallot mixture, herbs, remaining 1/4 cup water, and soy sauce until smooth, about 1 minute, and season with salt and pepper. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring sauce to room temperature before serving.
Just before serving, stir in lemon juice.