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Simple Pleasures


A few weeks ago, I stumbled across Molly Wizenberg’s blog Orangette. Her writing is inspiring and her passion for food is infectious. She has a love of all things French and the food she cooks reflects that. Enthused, I decided to try out one of her recipes at the weekend.

 I was up in Derbyshire and after an active day comprising a 90-minute bike ride and a 2-hour walk, I was starving. I plumped for a simple but tasty recipe of poached halibut with garlic, parsley, lemon and olive oil.

 Poached Halibut with Garlic, Parsley, Lemon & Olive Oil,  from Molly Wizenberg’s Orangette blog (a recipe adapted from from Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s Weeknight Kitchen newsletter)


4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
8 sprigs of parsley
1 tsp salt
2 halibut fillets with skin removed (if you can’t find halibut, use cod)

More parsley for the garnish
2-4 lemon wedges, for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Salt & Pepper

Put the crushed garlic, parsley, and salt in a 12-inch skillet or sauté pan. Add water to a depth of about 5cm. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

Halibut fillets will cook for 8 to 10 minutes per 2.5cm of thickness.

When the poaching stock is ready, delicately put the fillets into the pan. Cook for the time you’ve worked out depending on thickness. The water should just be bubbling gently. Test the fish by making a small slit with a small knife in the thickest part of the fillet: all but the very centre of each piece should be opaque.

When each fillet is ready, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a serving plate. Garnish the plates with sprigs of parsley and lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper. Don’t forget a squeeze of lemon!

Serve with peas and new potatoes tossed in olive oil.


Cooked fishThe taste is delicate and deliciously fragrant. I served it with asparagus which was a mistake as it overwhelmed the fish a little so next time I will be trying it with peas.

I am awaiting the delivery of Molly Wizenberg’s book ‘A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table’ with much trepidation.

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