Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Sage Butter Sauce

From Winter 2006 "Fine Cooking" magazine.

This recipe serves six. I cooked one pound of halibut for two people and that was perfect. I put a lot more sage leaves on the halibut than the recipe calls for, and I wrapped it in two pieces of proscuitto instead of one. All of these modifications seemed to work fine. I cooked the 3/4-inch think halibut at 400 for 20 minutes.

This goes very well with Smashed Parsley Potatoes and Broccoli with Black Olives, Garlic & Lemon.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400 F.

Slicing crosswise, cut six 1/4-inch rounds from the center of one of the lemons. Repeat with the remaining lemon. Squeeze the juice from the ends of the lemons into a small bowl (you'll need 4 tsp.) and set aside. Arrange the lemon rounds in slightly overlapping pirs on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet. Note: I used a lot more lemon for the base than they call for. For just the one large fillet, I cut rounds from two lemons. So the fish was sitting completely on top lemon. Also, I cooked the fish in a glass baking dish, not on a baking sheet. All of this worked fine. --mrm

Season the fish with salt and pepper. Set two sage leaves (or as many as you like --mrm) on top of each fillet and then wrap each fillet with a slice (or two) of proscuitto. The proscuitto should form a belt, enclosing the leaves. Lay wrapped fillets on top of lemon slices. Bake until the fish is cooked through (it should flake and be opaque in the thickest part), 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Do Not Overcook. Check it after 15 minutes. You probably won't need more than 20 minutes in any case.

While the fish is cooking, melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add the remaining sage leaves and cook, turning once, until the leaves are crisp and the butter begins to brown, about 7 minutes. (I cooked it less than this and didn't crisp the sage.) Add the 4 tsp. lemon juice to the butter and season with 1/4 tsp. salt or to taste.

Arrange each fillet (on its lemon slices) on each of six dinner plates. Pour any juices from the fish into the butter sauce in the skillet. Reheat the sauce if necessary. Spoon some of the sauce and a few sage leaves over each fillet and serve.

TIP: Make sure all your halibut fillets are similar in size and thickness so that they cook in the same time. You could also use any firm flesh white fish for this recipe.

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: November 16, 2005