Steamed halibut with artichokes, tomato salsa and pesto dressing

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Steamed halibut with artichokes, tomato salsa and pesto dressing
Put a little spring in your step with this zingy fish dish from Alasdair Elder

With summer just around the corner, our thoughts are turning to invigorating, light food, such as this refreshing yet full-flavoured halibut dish. When steamed with a little salt, butter and lemon juice the flavours of halibut really intensify.

Here, the light and moist texture of the halibut, which is undoubtedly my favourite fish, is complemented by the fresh and zesty salsa, while the artichokes offer crunch. Dress with the pesto to produce the perfect summer dish to enjoy with a nice glass of chilled Pinot Grigio.

The dish also works well on the barbecue. Instead of steaming the halibut, place it in a tinfoil parcel, brushed with olive oil, a knob of butter and some salt and steam slowly.

To make the dish for four, start by preparing the tomato salsa. Remove the eyes from six plum tomatoes and place a small cross on the top. Place the tomatoes into a pan of water, bring to the boil, and when the skins start to break, remove and place in iced water. Remove the skins, deseed and then dice. Peel, halve and dice two small red onions. For the artichokes, peel and cut 10 artichokes into disks. Place in a pan of water with lemon and salt for three to four minutes.

Refresh in ice cool water and place on kitchen towel to dry.

Next, zest and juice two limes. Blanch the zest in boiling water, refresh and repeat again. Wearing gloves, cut a red chilli in half and remove the seeds and stalk and finely chop along with half a bunch of coriander.

Leaving aside the artichokes, place the coriander in a bowl with the chilli, lime, tomatoes, onion and 200ml olive oil. Season to taste and place in the fridge for an hour.

To make the pesto dressing, place 25g hazelnuts and two cloves of garlic in a food processor and blend for a few seconds.

Add 25g parmesan cheese, 100g each of flat leaf parsley, watercress and tarragon and blend to a paste.

Drizzle in 50ml olive oil and once combined, remove from the processor and place in fridge. Leave for a few hours, then pass through a fine sieve. Season to taste.

Brush the artichokes with olive oil and char grill or pan fry till golden brown. Season with salt. Finally, steam six to eight 7oz halibut fillets for three to five minutes.

Serve on heated plates, arranging the artichokes around the tomato salsa. Place the halibut fillet in the centre of the plate on top and pour the pesto dressing around the edge.

''Alasdair began his culinary career at an Italian restaurant in Glasgow. From there he moved to work in a two-rosette restaurant at Airth castle in Stirlingshire, before gaining experience at several other restaurants, including the Shoestring in Greece and The Morrison Hotel, Dublin.

Returning from Dublin, Alasdair became head chef at The Point Hotel, Edinburgh, before being appointed head chef at Edinburgh's historic The Old Waverley Hotel, where he makes the most of Scotland's seasonal produce, creating a menu that encompasses the freshest local ingredients.''

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