Roasting is one of the easiest ways to get a fish dinner on the table quickly. All varieties of thick, white fish bake well; the rule of thumb is 10 minutes to the inch measured at its thickest part. (When you put a crust over it, it takes a few minutes longer.) Baking at high heat ensures that the fish retains its moisture and flavour; the other great attraction to roasting fish is cooking the vegetables alongside it. Harder vegetables need a quick blanch in boiling water first; softer ones can go right into the baking dish when the fish is ready for the oven.
Ready time: 25 minutes
8 ounces (250 grams) mini red potatoes, quartered
8 ounces (250 grams) asparagus, ends broken off, peeled if thick, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 6-ounce (175-gram) pieces halibut filet
2 cups spinach
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon lemon rind, grated
½ cup panko
Preheat oven to 450 F. Place potato quarters in cold salted water and bring to boil. Boil for 6 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool.
Spoon potatoes, asparagus and cherry tomatoes into a metal gratin or casserole dish large enough to hold the fish in one layer. Sprinkle vegetables with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Season halibut with salt and pepper. Combine spinach, garlic, lemon rind and ¼ cup olive oil in a food processor until combined but textured. Stir in panko.
Season with salt and pepper. Spread about 1 tablespoon of spinach mixture over each fillet, reserving remainder for another use. (It’s excellent on a baked potato.) Place halibut on vegetables and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil.
Bake in the oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until halibut is just cooked though. White juices will appear on the sides of the fish and it should be opaque throughout.
Serve fish and vegetables together along with any pan juices.