Yotam Ottolenghi’s spiced halibut with spinach and chickpea stew

Yotam Ottolenghi’s spiced halibut with spinach and chickpea stew. Photograph: Andrew Scrivani/New York Times

Yotam Ottolenghi’s spiced halibut with spinach and chickpea stew. Photograph: Andrew Scrivani/New York Times

Tue, May 14, 2019, 05:59

  • Cooking Time: 75 mins
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: North African


  • 60ml olive oil
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • ¼tsp dried Persian lime powder (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2tsp lemon zest
  • ¾tsp
  • sea salt
  • 4 skinless, boneless halibut fillets, patted dry (about 450g total)
  • 1 400g can chickpeas, drained and patted dry
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
  • Olive oil
  • 80g
  • finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 mild green chilli peppers, such as Anaheim, finely chopped
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • ½tsp dried Persian lime powder (optional)
  • ½tsp ground coriander
  • 1 fresh cinnamon stick, roughly crushed
  • 50g
  • coriander
  • 25g flat-leaf parsley
  • 450g baby spinach
  • 1¼tsp flaky sea salt
  • 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1½tsp granulated sugar or caster sugar
  • 3tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 lemon (peel the skin to get 3 strips and juice to get 2tbsp)
  • 1 mild green chilli pepper, such as Anaheim, halved lengthways and finely sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced on an angle
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 5g coriander, roughly sliced
  • Flaky sea salt and black pepper


Step 1 Marinate the fish and chickpeas: in a small bowl, mix the first seven ingredients together. Add 2½ tablespoons of marinade to a bowl with the halibut and mix well. Add two tablespoons of the marinade to a separate bowl with the chickpeas and stir to combine. Set both aside at room temperature.

Step 2 Prepare the spinach stew: add 75ml of the olive oil to a large pot over a medium heat with the onion and gently fry for eight minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic, chilli, spices and cinnamon stick and continue to cook for five minutes, stirring often.

Step 3 Meanwhile, add the herbs and some of the spinach to a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Repeat in batches until all the greens are finely chopped. Add the chopped spinach and herbs to the pot with the onions, along with three tablespoons of oil and some flaky sea salt. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often, until the spinach turns a deep green colour, almost grey.

Step 4 Add the chicken stock, sugar, lemon juice and 100ml of water to the pot. Bring to a rapid simmer and then lower the heat. Cook for 20 minutes until thickened slightly.

Step 5 Make the salsa: finely slice the lemon skin into very thin strips, then mix with the lemon juice and remaining salsa ingredients and set aside.

Step 6 When you’re ready to serve, heat a large nonstick frying pan on a high heat, then add half a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the chickpeas and fry for six minutes, stirring every now and then, until crisp and golden brown. Transfer to a plate and wipe the pan clean.

Step 7 Return the pan to a medium-high heat with the remaining 1½ tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the halibut fillets, spaced apart, and fry for three minutes on one side, then flip and fry for another two minutes on the other side, until both sides are crisp and golden brown.

Step 8 Add about two-thirds of the chickpeas to the stew and stir together, then transfer the stew to a large platter with a lip. Put the halibut fillets on top of the stew, then scatter with the remaining fried chickpeas. Finish with the salsa and serve at once, sprinkled with more flaky sea salt if you like. – New York Times