Herbes de Provence (EHRB duh proh-VAWNS) is a fragrant blend of dried herbs (basil, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, thyme, summer savory, and fennel seed) commonly used in southern French cooking. The mixture is also good on lamb, beef, and poultry.
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped fennel bulb
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt, divided
4 cups diced tomato
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives
1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 450°.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add fennel, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in diced tomato; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in fresh basil and fresh parsley.
Spoon half of tomato mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Place fillets over tomato mixture. Pour wine into dish; sprinkle fillets with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spoon remaining tomato mixture over fillets. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.
Combine the breadcrumbs, olives, herbes de Provence, 1 teaspoon oil, pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over fillets. Broil 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve immediately. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.
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I've made this several times now. I'm definitely keeping it in the good-enough-for-company file, especially since much of it could be made ahead. The last time, I used panko crumbs and enjoyed the extra crunch. One note for the broiling stage: Don't catch it on fire (which I've done more than once)!
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