Poaching guarantees moist fish, and here tomatoes, fennel seeds, and white wine provide subtle flavor. If your fish market does not carry halibut fillets, use halibut steaks, cut 1 inch thick. While we like these with Pickled Vegetable Relish because it makes such a crisp counterpoint to the halibut, an herbed or spicy mayonnaise works nicely, too. A grain or green salad as an accompaniment, and there is the menu.
1 medium onion
6 large plum tomatoes
2 cups dry white wine
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ pounds halibut fillets, cut into 6-ounce portions
3 lemon or limes, halved, for garnish
Peel, trim, and dice the onion.
Grate the tomatoes, one at a time, on the largest holes of a box grater, discarding the little bit of skin with pulp attached that remains after grating.
Combine the tomatoes, onion, white wine, fennel seeds, and salt in a large skillet. Bring to a boil; then simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the halibut fillets to the simmering liquid and poach them until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large plate and let cool.
To serve, place the fillets on a serving platter and garnish with lemons or limes. Serve with a relish or sauce of choice. Best served within 1 hour of finishing.