I like to think of this as a healthier, anti-inflammatory version of fish and chips (without the chips). Hazelnuts have a buttery sweetness when roasted and they make a delicious bread-free crust. You won’t get the golden brown coloration and crispy texture of battered and fried fish, but you’ll get good flavor and a lot more unsaturated fats that are anti-inflammatory. The dipping sauce is reminiscent of tartar sauce!
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 1½ pounds of halibut skin removed and cut into 4 filets
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup Vegenaise
- ½ teaspoon Dijon or stone ground mustard
- 1 small dill pickle finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon pickle juice
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Remove the nuts from the oven and transfer to a clean dishtowel while the nuts are still warm. Wrap the pile of nuts in the towel and aggressively massage the nuts in the towel to remove the bitter skins. When the nuts are cool to the touch, transfer to a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely chopped. If you don’t have a food processor, place hazelnuts in a plastic bag and seal. Use a meat tenderizer to pound nuts into a medium to fine texture.
Transfer ground hazelnuts into a shallow dish and mix in Italian seasoning, and salt. Coat both sides of the fish filets with oil using a basting brush and carefully roll each fillet in the hazelnut mixture. Make sure each filet is thoroughly coated. Place fillets in a shallow baking dish and bake for approximately 15 - 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filets. Fish should be cooked until opaque but not dry.
Whisk together the sauce ingredients and place a small spoonful on each filet or serve on the side as a dipping sauce.