A Weeknight Like Giada’s

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Mediterranean Halibut Sandwich

Like most people, my creativity and enthusiasm for cooking seems to droop on busy weeknights.  I was recently flipping through the latest issue of Health magazine and they were featuring several recipes from Giada de Laurentiis‘ new cookbook, Weeknights with Giada.  I have to admit, they all looked pretty do-able, and the Mediterranean Halibut Sandwich recipe was calling my name.  I am all too familiar with making basic sandwiches for a quick dinner, but this halibut recipe is restaurant-calibre, in my humble opinion.  The fresh herbs and lemon zest mixed with the halibut really make the dish special.

I didn’t deviate much from the original recipe, other than to use fresh sliced tomatoes in the sandwich instead of adding sun-dried tomatoes into the halibut-mayo mixture — just to keep from throwing the kids off too much.  I also left out the capers.  The sandwiches were a big hit, and I will definitely be making them again.  I may also try using the halibut-mayo mixture in a pasta salad.

Mediterranean Halibut Sandwiches (adapted from “Weeknights with Giada”, as featured in Health magazine):

Cooking spray

2 (6-oz) halibut fillets, skinned (I used 14 oz in total)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

2 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided

1 (14-oz) loaf ciabatta bread, ends trimmed, split horizontally

1 garlic clove, halved

1/4 cup reduced-fat mayo (I used olive-oil mayo)

1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tbsp capers, drained and mashed

Grated zest of 1 large lemon

2 packed cups (2 ounces) arugula (I used a mix of baby greens)

Preheat oven to 450 F.  Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray; add halibut and season with salt and pepper; rub with 1 tsp oil.  Bake 10-15 minutes, until cooked through and the flesh flakes easily with a fork.  Cool.

Remove some bread from the top half of loaf (and try not to eat it all).  Brush  cut sides with 2 tbsp oil.  Bake on a baking sheet 6-8 minutes, until golden.  Rub toasted surfaces with garlic.

In a medium bowl, combine mayo, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parsley, capers, and lemon zest.  Add fish, flaking and mixing with a fork.  (I added extra salt and pepper at this point).  Spoon onto bottom half of bread and top with arugula (I tossed my greens in a bit of olive oil).  Add top of bread and cut into 4 sandwiches.

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