Halibut with Artichokes, Tomatoes, White Beans and Barley

Yield: 4 servings

This is a delicious meal. Sometimes I make the barley ahead of time because it’s on the stove for an hour. I refrigerate it and then reheat it just before serving. Make the broth first, and while it comes to a simmer, cook the fish. It all comes together very quickly, especially if the barley is already made.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup barley
• 4 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
• 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
• 4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
• 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning fish
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper, plus more for seasoning fish
• 2 shallots, sliced into thin rounds
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 9 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
• 1/2 cup white wine
• 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
• 1 (14.5-ounce) can white beans (cannellini beans), rinsed and drained
• ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish

Procedure:
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups chicken broth to boil. Add one cup barley to boiling broth, cover, and reduce heat to simmer on low for about one hour, until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and keep covered for about 10 minutes. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and artichokes and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and stir, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining 1 ½ cups chicken broth, tomatoes and juice, white beans, ½ teaspoon minced thyme, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.

3. Brush both sides of the halibut with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan or fry pan over high heat. Cook the fish until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness.

4. To serve, ladle the artichoke, tomato and bean broth into shallow bowls. Top with halibut filet. Mound a spoonful of barley over halibut. Sprinkle with minced thyme. Serve immediately.

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