Halibut with Lovage and Béarnaise

Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 x 2-ounce (57 g) halibut fillets, cut 1 x 3 inch (2.5 x 7.5 cm)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) butter
  • 4 sprigs lovage, leaves only
  • 4 sprigs parsley, leaves only
  • 4 sprigs dill, leaves only
  • 4 sprigs tarragon, leaves only (reserve stems for Béarnaise)
  • Salt
Beet Glazed Turnip:
  • 3 baby turnips (1 inch/2.5 cm greens still on), brushed and trimmed, cut in half
  • 1 cup (240 ml) brine from pickled red beets
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) caraway seeds, lightly crushed
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter
Sauce Béarnaise:
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 pound clarified butter, melted
  • ½ cup tarragon leaves, chopped, (reserve stems)
  • Samphire/sea asparagus tossed in olive oil, to garnish


For the Halibut:

In a small food processor, combine the butter, lovage, parsley, dill, and tarragon, and pulse until smooth and green. Season the fillet with salt and coat completely with the green butter.

Prepare a water bath and set immersion circulator to 130 F (54 C).

Carefully add the halibut fillets to a vacuum pouch. Seal the pouch with a vacuum sealer and place in the water bath, clipping to the side to prevent sinking.  Sous-vide the pouch for 45 minutes.

For the Beet Glazed Turnip:

Add turnips, brine, sugar, and caraway seeds to a small pan over medium heat. Once the liquid starts to bubble, reduce heat to low, cover and cook about 10 minutes, until the turnips are tender.

After turnips are tender, uncover, raise heat to medium high and boil gently for 15 minutes or until liquid is slightly syrupy.

Remove from heat and swirl in the butter.

For the Sauce Béarnaise:

Combine vinegar, wine, peppercorns, reserved tarragon stems, and shallots in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid until ¼ cup (60 ml) remains.

Strain the mixture, reserving the vinegar reduction and discarding the solids.

Over a double boiler, add vinegar reduction and egg yolks and whisk until slightly pale and thickened enough to leave a line after running the whisk through it. Turn off heat, but leave in the double boiler.

Use a ladle to add the butter slowly, a bit at a time, whisking constantly, until a thick sauce forms.

Add water as needed to thin sauce to desired consistency.

Season with salt and stir in the chopped tarragon leaves. Keep in a warm (not hot) place.

To Plate:

Remove fish from the vacuum bag gently, allowing the butter to drip off but keeping the herbs on the fish.

Plate the fillet ‘front to back’ on the left side of the plate.

Add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of béarnaise over the front third of the fish, allowing it to drip off and drape the fish.

Toss the samphire with olive oil and place a small mound to the top right section of the plate.

Lay a glazed turnip over the samphire, cut side up, greens facing the back of the plate.


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