Trying to find a way to highlight the best of spring's bounty with all the fantastic produce from the farmers' market? Then you may want to try this recipe, which features a garnish of sautéed asparagus and spring onions on top of a perfectly cooked halibut fillet.
Snap the woody bottoms off the asparagus by holding just below the tip of the asparagus with one hand and the base in the other and lightly bending until it snaps. Next, peel the outside off the asparagus leaving the tip fully intact (this is optional). Securely tie the asparagus together in 1 bunch with butchers' twine.
Bring a large pot of water to a steady boil over high heat and set up an ice bath using 1 quart cold water and 3 cups ice.
Remove the asparagus from the water when fork-tender, and place directly into the ice water. Leave in the cold water until fully cooled, about 5 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the spring onions. Cook until golden brown. Add the blanched asparagus, shallots, garlic, parsley, and thyme and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the olive oil over high heat in a sauté pan large enough to fit the fish fillets without touching each other or the sides of the pan. (The olive oil should evenly coat the bottom of the pan once hot.)
Once the pan is hot, season the fish on all sides with salt, to taste, and place carefully in the pan, avoiding any oil splashing. Reduce the heat to medium and cook on one side until golden brown. (To check the coloring on the fish, carefully use a flexible metal spatula to lightly raise one corner and peek at the doneness.) Once golden, carefully flip over and add the butter. Place in the oven until the fish feels slightly firm on its sides, for about 3 minutes.
To serve, spoon your onion and asparagus garnish onto a plate and place the fish on top. Top with a fresh squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and a splash of sea salt, and enjoy.