You can store the garlicky tahini in a jar in the fridge for up to one week. If the tahini gets too thick while in the fridge, just loosen it up with a little water before using.
This recipe is printed with permission from Eating Out Loud: Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day, Every Day. Read more about Eden here.
For the fish:
- 2 bunches cherry tomatoes on the vine, or 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp harissa, store bought is fine
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- 6 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 6 halibut fillets (4 to 5 ounces each) or other white, flaky fish such as striped bass, sea bass, or cod, skinned
For the garlicky tahini (makes about 2 cups):
- 1 cup tahini paste
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ½ cup ice water, plus more if needed
- chopped fresh herbs, such as basil and dill, for garnish
- Make the tahini. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and ice water. It will reach a weird, lumpy consistency, but don’t be afraid. Keep whisking until it smooths out and becomes light in color (if it doesn’t, it needs more ice water, so just add a bit more). Tahini sauce with the perfect consistency will drip through the tines of a fork, but just barely. Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon juice or salt if desired.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 Tbsp of the olive oil. Season well with salt and roast until charred and bursting, about 15 minutes.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, harissa, sweet paprika, turmeric, and smoked paprika and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and use your spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the mixture simmer for 2 more minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down and start to resemble a sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until slightly reduced, another 10 minutes.
- Check the sauce for seasoning and increase the heat to a simmer. Let it reduce until it’s thickened slightly, about 5 minutes, which will make it more flavorful and help it cling to the fish. Place the halibut in the pan, making sure to spoon sauce over the fish. Cover and simmer until the fish is no longer translucent in the middle and the flesh is flaky, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Serve right in the pan with the garlicky tahini drizzled over it and topped with the roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, and additional olive oil.