Last week I had the fortunate experience to attend a wine dinner featuring recipes from an amazing Atlanta cookbook author, Virginia Willis, at the beautiful Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama. Virginia is the author of Bon Appétit, Y’all! Three Generations of Southern Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2008)., an incredible cookbook. Virginia produced Turner South’s Home Plate and the DVD Shirley Corriher’s Kitchen Secrets Revealed, and she was the Kitchen Director at Martha Stewart Living. Virginia has so many other incredible accolades which are too many to mention here, but you can see them on her website http://www.virginiawillis.com for more information. I thought I would share with you one of Virginia’s recipes for Halibut Provencal that is very light and springy. It’s as fabulous as it sounds.
3 tablespoons olive oil, more for the pan
1 onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 small zucchini, cut into large dice
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
20 black olives, such as niçoise or kalamata, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 6-ounce halibut fillets or 1 24-ounce piece
1. Heat oven to 375°. Brush a shallow ovenproof casserole with olive oil. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until it just begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add zucchini and tomato and sauté until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add olives and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Place fish in the prepared casserole and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon vegetable mixture over fillets. Transfer to the oven and bake until just opaque in center, about 10 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs.