Halibut burger with blueberry relish

By Julie Daniluk
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When you’re craving a burger but don’t want a gut bomb, swap out the fatty beef for a thick fillet of halibut. It’s just as satisfying, and the mild fish is amenable to whatever flavors you want to throw at it. For this take, I slather the fillets in citrusy mayo and a sweet-savory blueberry relish that puts boring old ketchup to shame. I pile on a shaved fennel slaw for crunch.

SERVES
4

Ingredients

Citrus mayo:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 cups canola oil

Blueberry relish:

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (divided)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Fennel slaw:

  • 1 bulb fennel, halved and core removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Roasted halibut:

  • 4 (114 to 140 grams) skinless halibut fillets
  • Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 soft hamburger buns, to serve
  • 4 butter lettuce leaves, to serve
  • 4 dill pickles, halved lengthwise, to serve

Directions

Citrus mayo:

  1. In a food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender), combine the eggs, egg yolks, mustard, lime zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper. With the machine running, slowly add the oil in a thin steady stream until the mixture is emulsified and thickened and all the oil has been incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, or citrus if desired. Can be made ahead of time; will keep refrigerated for up to three days.

Blueberry relish:

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for five minutes or until tender and translucent. Add one cup of the blueberries, honey, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Cook for 12 minutes or until saucy and the blueberries have broken down. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries. Set aside to cool. (Relish can be made and refrigerated several days ahead.)

Fennel slaw:

  1. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the fennel paper thin. Toss in a bowl with the oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted halibut:

  1. Use paper towels to pat the fish dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Carefully lay the fish in the pan. (If necessary, cook the fish in batches to prevent overcrowding, which will keep the fish from caramelizing properly.) Reduce the heat to medium and cook for two to three minutes; a golden crust will have formed on the flesh. Flip the fillets over and add the butter, the thyme, and a squeeze of lemon over each fish. Cook, basting with the buttery juices, for another three to four minutes or until browned and almost opaque all the way through. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Assemble the burgers with a lettuce leaf and the fish, fennel slaw, and citrus mayo. Serve with blueberry relish and a dill pickle.

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