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Seared Penobscot Bay Halibut with Potatoes, Morels, Swiss Chard, and Pickled Chard Stems


1 pound Kennebec potatoes, diced large

4 tablespoons butter, divided

½ pound morel mushrooms, cleaned and halved

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed for pickling and leaves cut into thin strips

4 6-ounce pieces halibut

Salt and pepper

Pickled Chard Stems

½ cup red wine vinegar

2 cups water

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs thyme

2 allspice berries, crushed


  1. Place potatoes in pot. Cover with cold water and add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to boil and cook just until tender. Remove from heat and strain immediately.
  2. In a sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms in butter until liquid evaporates. Add potatoes to pan and sauté briefly. Remove from heat and reserve.
  3. In another sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add chard greens and sauté just until wilted. Season to taste, and remove from heat.
  4. Heat another sauté pan over high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. When oil is hot, place halibut portions carefully into pan. Sear on high heat for 4–5 minutes, until golden-brown crust forms. Flip fish over and immediately turn heat down to low. Add remaining butter to pan and use to baste fish. Allow fish to cook 4–5 more minutes on that side. Remove fish from pan and reserve on paper towel-lined plate.
  5. To assemble, place sautéed Swiss chard on bottom of plate, top with potatoes and morels, and then halibut. Garnish with pickled chard stems (recipe follows).

Pickled Chard Stems

  1. Bring all ingredients to boil in a small saucepot.
  2. Once boiling, pour hot liquid over chard stems and allow to cool. Once cool, stems are ready.
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