The classic Moroccan combination of aromatic spices and herbs with the concentrated sweetness of dried fruits—here, golden raisins—has an almost alchemical effect on simple halibut.
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced onions (¼-inch dice)
- 4 cloves garlic, very finely minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
- 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches long)
- 2 long strips of orange zest removed with a paring knife
- ¾ cup Basic Chicken Broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¾ cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 6 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into ½-inch dice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint, plus 2 tablespoons, for garnish
- 6 halibut steaks (6 to 8 ounces each), 1½ inches thick
- Fluffy Couscous, for serving
1. Place the olive oil, onion, and garlic in a heavy pot over low heat and cook, stirring, until the onions are very soft, 15 minutes.
2. Add the cardamom, saffron, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, orange zest, broth, and salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Then stir in the chickpeas, raisins, and tomatoes. Add the parsley and the ¼ cup mint and simmer, partially covered, shaking the pan occasionally; for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
4. Remove the cinnamon stick and the orange zest from the vegetable mixture. Place the cooked vegetables in a 13 × 9-inch baking dish and arrange the halibut steaks on top. Spoon some of the vegetable liquid over the fish. Bake until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily when tested with a fork, 15 minutes.
5. Serve the fish and vegetables over couscous and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons chopped mint.