Gently Steamed Fish with Cucumber, Borage, and Tahini Sauce

If you have leftover flowering fresh coriander (cilantro) sprigs from the zucchini dish above, don't let them go to waste. Instead, add them to the garnish of borage flowers here.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Gently Steamed Fish with Cucumber, Borage, and Tahini Sauce

Photography: Richard Banks

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2013

Ingredients

Fish

  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  • 8 cups water, room temperature
  • 4 skinless halibut fillets (4 ounces each)
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 4 to 5 dill stems, plus 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill fronds, for garnish

Tahini Sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup water

Cucumber and Borage

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 lemon cucumber, or 1/2 regular cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds (about 1 cup)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 large stalks borage, leaves and stalks cut into 3-inch pieces, plus flowers, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

To Finish

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Directions

  1. Fish: Combine coarse salt and water in a large bowl and whisk until salt dissolves. Place halibut in a deep nonreactive container just wide enough to hold fillets in a single layer, and add lemon and dill stems. Pour salted water over fish to completely submerge, cover container with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

  2. Tahini sauce: Mash garlic and coarse salt into a paste with a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a knife. Transfer garlic to a medium bowl; whisk in tahini. Whisk in lemon juice, then the water, whisking until sauce is the consistency of lightly whipped cream.

  3. Cucumber and borage: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add cucumber and a pinch of coarse salt; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cucumber begins to become translucent, about 10 minutes. Transfer cucumber to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Melt remaining tablespoon butter over medium-low heat, add shallot and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add borage leaves and stalks and a pinch of coarse salt. Increase heat to medium-high; cook until borage browns in places and stalks become tender, about 4 minutes. Add lemon juice, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, and transfer to bowl with cucumber. Season mixture with coarse salt, gently stirring to combine, and cover to keep warm.

  4. To finish: Remove fish from brine; discard brine. Place fillets, skinned side down, in a single layer in a steamer; top with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with flaky salt. Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a large, shallow pot. Place steamer in pot and cover. Steam until fillets are just cooked through and opaque throughout, about 4 minutes.

  5. Spread 1 tablespoon tahini sauce across each of 4 plates and top with fish. Divide cucumber and borage among plates, drizzle with oil and any accumulated juices, and garnish with borage flowers.

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