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Grilled Halibut with Cauliflower Leek Puree and Wente Vineyards Chardonnay

Prep Time - 15 minutes | Time To Make - 30 minutes

In partnership with Janet Fletcher, Carolyn and Aly Wente share a delightful seafood and wine pairing. The best part of this recipe? Find all of the ingredients at your local farmer’s and seafood market for an delicious and effortless meal. Recommended Wine Pairing: nth DEGREE Chardonnay or Riva Ranch Chardonnay.


Pistachio Pesto

1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
½ cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves
½ cup roasted unsalted pistachios
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cauliflower and Leek Puree

1 cup chicken stock
1 large leek, white and pale green part only, thinly sliced
1 medium cauliflower, cored and separated into florets
Lemon juice, to taste


2 small green zucchini
2 small yellow zucchini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


4 skin-on halibut fillets, 5 to 6 ounces each
Extra virgin olive oil


Make the pistachio pesto: In a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, pistachios, garlic, and salt. Pulse to blend. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream, blending until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides of the work bowl once or twice. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in pepper to taste.
Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced leek and simmer until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the florets to the saucepan, season with salt, cover, and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a sieve, reserving the liquid. Puree the leeks and cauliflower in a food processor until very smooth, thinning as needed with the reserved cooking liquid. Return the puree to the pot, season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare a medium charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium. Preheat the grill rack to prevent the fish from sticking.
Slice the zucchini lengthwise about 3/8-inch thick. In a bowl, toss the zucchini slices with the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until tender and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Keep warm in a low oven.
Coat the halibut with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the halibut, skin side down, on the preheated grill rack. Cook about 5 minutes, then turn and cook on the flesh side until the fish barely flakes, about 3 minutes longer. It will continue to cook as it cools.
To serve, spoon some of the cauliflower-leek puree on each plate. Put zucchini slices alongside. Top with the fish and spoon pesto overall. Serve immediately.