← Back to Search Results
sauteeing Napa Valley
Halibut and Corn Salad with a “Broken” Tomato Vinaigrette Recipe-13656

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


This is another of those dishes built of parts that can be enjoyed separately or together: grilled fish, a vegetable salad, and the big accent flavor of a vinaigrette made from reduced fresh tomato juice and olive oil. In about 1992, we began experimenting to create the intensely flavored dressing we call “broken” vinaigrettes, which take their name from the fact that they are purposely not emulsified. Instead, we lightly shake reduced fruit or vegetable juice with a complementary flavored oil. The colored drops of juice glisten within the olive oil. When they are shaken onto a salad or a plate, they create a striking pattern of contrasting colors and set up the same vibrant contrast in your mouth. Try this tomato vinaigrette on meat or sliced tomatoes. You can make broken vinaigrettes with beets and carrots by following the same process outlined here for tomatoes.

Yield: Serves 4


  • 3 large vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large ears corn, shucked
  • 1 cup shelled lima beans, fava beans, or other fresh shelling beans
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • ¼ cup Prosciutto Bits (see Notes), recrisped  or about 4 slices bacon, cooked until very crisp, well drained, and minced
  • 4 halibut fillets, about 5 ounces each, or other firm-fleshed, meaty fish such as swordfish


Core the tomatoes, cut into pieces, and place in a blender. Blend until pureed. Strain through a sieve into a bowl. You should have about 1½ cups purée.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a nonreactive medium saucepan until hot. Add the garlic and sauté briefly until light brown. Add the tomato puree and bring to a boil. Simmer gently about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Discard the solids.

Rinse out the saucepan, return the tomato juice to the pan, and bring to a boil. Simmer and strain twice more until the tomato juice is as thick as heavy cream, about 15 minutes total cooking time. Be sure to lower the heat as the mixture thickens to prevent scorching. You should have about ¼ cup of very smooth tomato juice. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and taste for salt and pepper.

Pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into a small, clean glass bottle with a stopper and swirl to coat the inside. Strain the tomato juice into the bottle. Let it cool to room temperature. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Do not shake or mix!

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the corn and cook just until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside. Cook the beans in the same water just until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain. If using favas, peel them. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cobs. Toss together in a bowl.

In a clean jar with a lid, shake together the vinegar, tarragon, 3 tablespoons of the prosciutto bits, and 6 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pour enough of the dressing onto the corn and beans to coat, toss well, and taste for seasoning. Adjust with salt, pepper, and more dressing as necessary. Set aside to marinate for about 15 minutes.

Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the fish and cook until brown on the first side, about 3 minutes. Turn and continue to cook until opaque throughout, about 3 minutes longer. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

When ready to serve, pile the corn mixture on a platter or divide among 4 large plates. Arrange the fish on top of the salads. Shake the tomato vinaigrette bottle gently. You do not want the mixture to emulsify, but to have separate droplets suspended within the oil.

Spoon or shake about 1 tablespoon of the “broken” tomato vinaigrette on each piece of halibut and then drizzle or shake more tomato vinaigrette around the edges of the platter or plates. Garnish with the remaining prosciutto bits.


You may vary the flavor of your tomato vinaigrette by using flavored oil.

Prosciutto Bits (Makes about 1/2 cup)

1/2 pound prosciutto, finely diced (about 1 generous cup)

1 1/4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Put the prosciutto and olive oil in a small nontick skillet over medium heat. Cook slowly over medium to medium-low heat, tossing nd stirring occasionally, until the prosciutto is very crispy, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Reserve the fat, if desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or store in the freezer for up to several months. Before using, recrisp, if necessary, in a skillet over medium heat or in a 300F toaster oven.

© 1999 Michael Chiarello

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

635kcal (32%)
99mg (10%)
32mg (54%)
136mcg RAE (5%)
49mg (16%)
460mg (19%)
7g (33%)
43g (67%)
3mg (16%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
Free Activity Kit for Love Monster and the Last Chocolate!

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

the-bread-bible The Bread Bible
by Rose Levy Beranbaum
fruits-of-the-harvest-recipes-to-celebrate-kwanzaa-and-other-holidays Fruits of the Harvest: Reci...
by Eric V. Copage
125-best-vegan-recipes 125 Best Vegan Recipes
by Maxine Effenson Chuck, Beth Gurney
the-lee-bros-southern-cookbook-stories-and-recipes-for-southerners-and-would-be-southerners The Lee Bros. Southern Cook...
by Ted Lee, Matt Lee
david-burkes-new-american-classics David Burke's New American ...
by David Burke, Judith Choate
jacques-torres-a-year-in-chocolate-80-recipes-for-holidays-and-special-occasions Jacques Torres' A Year in C...
by Judith Choate, Jacques Torres
fresh-from-the-market Fresh from the Market
by Laurent Tourondel
the-south-american-table-the-flavor-and-soul-of-authentic-home-cooking-from-patagonia-to-rio-de-janeiro-with-450-recipes The South American Table: T...
by Maria Baez Kijac
fresh-from-the-farmers-market-year-round-recipes-for-the-pick-of-the-crop Fresh from the Farmers' Mar...
by Janet Fletcher
sunday-suppers-at-lucques Sunday Suppers at Lucques
by Suzanne Goin
unforgettable-desserts Unforgettable Desserts
by Dede Wilson
chez-panisse-fruit Chez Panisse Fruit
by Alice Waters
the-asian-grandmothers-cookbook The Asian Grandmothers Cook...
by Patricia Tanumihardja
gluten-free-and-vegan-holidays Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays
by Jennifer Katzinger
salmon-a-cookbook Salmon: A Cookbook
by Diane Morgan
the-vegetable-dishes-i-cant-live-without The Vegetable Dishes I Can'...
by Mollie Katzen, Greg Atkinson

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?