Brown butter-poached halibut with celeriac purée & caper crumbs

This elegant seafood dish will really wow someone special with its delicate flavour and texture – pollock or plaice also work well

  • Prep:25 mins
    Cook:40 mins
  • Serves 2
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 753
  • fat 54g
  • saturates 32g
  • carbs 31g
  • sugars 9g
  • fibre 9g
  • protein 32g
  • salt 1.8g


  • 200g butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 2 skinless, boneless halibut fillets, cut from the thick end, about 100-150g/4-5½ oz each
  • cavolo nero, kale or spinach, to serve
  • knob of butter (from the amount above)
  • 300g celeriac, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 200ml milk
  • 75ml double cream
  • knob of butter (from above)
  • 4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 heaped tsp capers, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley


  1. To make the purée, melt a small knob of butter in a saucepan, add the celeriac and cook over a medium-high heat until starting to brown a little, about 5 mins. Pour over the milk and cream, and season well – the celeriac should be just covered, so add more milk if needed. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 mins or until tender. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, and transfer to a food processor. Blend until smooth, then sieve into a clean saucepan, pushing the celeriac through with the back of a spoon or spatula. Add a little of the cooking liquid to loosen the purée if needed, and taste for seasoning.

  2. To make the crumbs, heat a small knob of butter in a frying pan, add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until golden brown. Throw in the capers and cook for 30 secs more. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool a little, then stir through the parsley.

  3. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 2. Gently melt the butter in a small ovenproof saucepan or frying pan, big enough for the fish fillets to fit snugly. Once melted, add the shallot, bay leaf and peppercorns. Keep heating until the butter turns a light brown colour and smells nutty. Leave to cool a little. Gently lower the fish fillets into the warm butter, basting any exposed fish, and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3-4 mins, depending on the thickness of the fish, then turn the fillets over and cook for a further 3-4 mins or until just opaque and feeling firm.

  4. While the fish cooks, reheat the purée and steam the greens. To serve, spoon the purée into the centre of each plate; use the back of the spoon to spread out slightly into a circle. Top with the greens, then carefully place the halibut on top. Drizzle with a little of the poaching butter and scatter with the crumbs.

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