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Halibut with Beans and Smoked Tomato Vinaigrette

(recipe, David Santos)

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    Tomato purée
    1. 8 garlic cloves
    2. 1 cup olive oil
    3. 4 tomatoes, smoked in a hot smoker for 10 minutes
    4. ¼ cup tomato vinegar (can substitute red-wine vinegar)
    5. ¼ cup water
    6. Sugar, salt, and pepper, to taste
    1. ½ cup cape beans (can substitute kidney beans), cooked until tender, approximately 1 hour
    2. ½ cup yellow wax beans, blanched in hot water for 60 seconds
    3. ½ haricots verts, blanched in hot water for 60 seconds
    4. Salt and pepper, to taste
    1. ½ cup benne seeds (can substitute sesame seeds)
    2. Olive oil, for the pan
    3. 4 halibut fillets, 6 ounces each
    4. Salt and pepper, to taste


    1. Make the tomato purée: Cook the garlic gently in the olive oil over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft. Scrape the cloves and oil into a blender. Add the tomatoes, tomato vinegar, water, and seasonings, and purée until smooth. Adjust for seasoning and let sit at room temperature until ready to use.
    2. Make the beans: If you haven't already cooked the beans, do so now. Toss the beans together and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
    3. Make the halibut: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the benne seeds onto a plate or other flat surface. Pour olive oil into a nonstick pan (enough to cover the bottom of the pan) and place the pan over high heat. Season the halibut fillets with salt and pepper. Press the side to be seared onto the benne seeds.
    4. Place the fillets in the hot pan and immediately turn the heat down to medium, so the benne seeds don’t burn. When the seeds are a nice golden brown, approximately 2 minutes, flip the fish and place in the 350-degree oven. Roast for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillets.
    5. Serve the dish: Place ¼ cup of tomato purée in the bottom of an individual serving bowl. Divide the bean salad between the four plates, arranging it in the middle of the purée. Place the halibut fillets seed side up in the middle of the bean salad. Serve immediately.