Brown butter-poached halibut with celeriac purée & caper crumbs

Brown butter-poached halibut with celeriac purée & caper crumbs

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(8 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 2
This elegant seafood dish will really wow someone special with its delicate flavour and texture - pollock or plaice also work well

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal753
  • fat54g
  • saturates32g
  • carbs31g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre9g
  • protein32g
  • salt1.8g
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  • 200g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 2 skinless, boneless halibut fillets, cut from the thick end, about 100-150g/4-5½ oz each



    The largest flatfish in the ocean, halibut is a delicious white-fleshed fish with a firm, meaty…

  • cavolo nero, kale or spinach, to serve
    Cavolo nero

    Cavolo nero

    ca-voll-oh nee-ro

    A loose-leafed cabbage from Tuscany, Italy. The leaves are a very dark green, almost black,…

For the puree

  • knob of butter (from the amount above)



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 300g celeriac, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces



    The unsung hero of the vegetable world, knobbly, odd-shaped celeriac has a subtle, celery-like…

  • 200ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 75ml double cream

For the crumbs

  • knob of butter (from above)



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 heaped tsp capers, roughly chopped
    Capers in bowl



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub that grows in the Mediterranean. As they…

  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. To make the purée, melt a small knob of butter in a saucepan, add the celeriac and cook over a medium-high heat until starting to brown a little, about 5 mins. Pour over the milk and cream, and season well – the celeriac should be just covered, so add more milk if needed. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 mins or until tender. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, and transfer to a food processor. Blend until smooth, then sieve into a clean saucepan, pushing the celeriac through with the back of a spoon or spatula. Add a little of the cooking liquid to loosen the purée if needed, and taste for seasoning.

  2. To make the crumbs, heat a small knob of butter in a frying pan, add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until golden brown. Throw in the capers and cook for 30 secs more. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool a little, then stir through the parsley.

  3. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 2. Gently melt the butter in a small ovenproof saucepan or frying pan, big enough for the fish fillets to fit snugly. Once melted, add the shallot, bay leaf and peppercorns. Keep heating until the butter turns a light brown colour and smells nutty. Leave to cool a little. Gently lower the fish fillets into the warm butter, basting any exposed fish, and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3-4 mins, depending on the thickness of the fish, then turn the fillets over and cook for a further 3-4 mins or until just opaque and feeling firm.

  4. While the fish cooks, reheat the purée and steam the greens. To serve, spoon the purée into the centre of each plate; use the back of the spoon to spread out slightly into a circle. Top with the greens, then carefully place the halibut on top. Drizzle with a little of the poaching butter and scatter with the crumbs.

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Comments, questions and tips

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16th Dec, 2017
I couldn’t believe how delicious this was. I used plaice and about 50gbutter. Having ensured the onion was cooked properly I added the bay and peppercorns then turned up the heat to brown the butter. Then I put the plaice on top, basted it with the butter, put a lid on and put it in the oven for 6mins. The whole meal was divine and the celeriac a revelation. I served with 1cm cubes of potato which I blanched in boiling water for 1min, drained well and fried in oil. Surprisingly the meal was not greasy.
27th Jul, 2017
Absolutely delicious. Great for serving to guests but also for a date night at home. The celeriac puree is utterly addictive
creepy_sheep's picture
26th Mar, 2017
I cooked this for Mother's Day dinner & it was very well received. I served it with boiled baby potatoes & steamed carrots, with a little jug of the cooking butter to drizzle over the veg. As mentioned by another user, the milk split while cooking the celeriac, but this had no effect on the finished purée. I was pleased with the result & will try this technique with other fish in future, as it came out beautifully moist & flaky, and not at all greasy.
11th Oct, 2014
This is lovely. I used low fat cooking oil substitute rather than all the butter and it was fine. The milk separated while cooking the celeriac but I simply drained it and pureed as per the recipe. Rather than using double cream I stirred in a bit of creme fraiche after the blending. I put some samphire in with the fish which worked well. The fish needed slightly longer to cook than suggested here. Another winning recipe which we'll be doing again!
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