BC Day Halibut Burger with Blueberry Relish by Chef Ned Bell

Halibut Burger with Blueberry Relish by Chef Ned Bell

When Chef Ned Bell is craving a burger but doesn’t want a gut bomb (like he ever does!), he swaps out the fatty beef for a thick fillet of halibut. He tells me that it’s just as satisfying, and the mild fish is amenable to whatever flavors you want to throw at it. For this take, he slathers the fillets in citrusy mayo and a sweet-savory blueberry relish that puts boring old ketchup to shame. He piles on a shaved fennel slaw for crunch. 

Ned makes the recipes below separately and assembles the burgers when the fish is hot off the grill. Serves 4.


Citrus mayo

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 cups canola oil

In a food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender), combine the eggs, egg yolks, mustard, lime zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper. With the machine running, slowly add the oil in a thin steady stream until the mixture is emulsified and thickened and all the oil has been incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, or citrus if desired. Can be made ahead of time; will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Blueberry relish

  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (divided)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender and translucent. Add 1 cup of the blueberries, honey, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Cook for 12 minutes or until saucy and the blueberries have broken down. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries. Set aside to cool. (Relish can be made and refrigerated several days ahead.)


Fennel slaw

  • 1 bulb fennel, halved and core removed
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the fennel paper thin. Toss in a bowl with the oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Roasted halibut

  • 4 (4 to 5 oz) skinless halibut fillets
  • Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 soft hamburger buns, to serve
  • 4 butter lettuce leaves, to serve
  • 4 dill pickles, halved lengthwise, to serve

Use paper towels to pat the fish dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Carefully lay the fish in the pan(If necessary, cook the fish in batches to prevent overcrowding, which will keep the fish from caramelizing properly.) Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; a golden crust will have formed on the flesh. Flip the fillets over and add the butter, the thyme, and a squeeze of lemon over each fish. Cook, basting with the buttery juices, for another 3 to 4 minutes or until browned and almost opaque all the way through. Transfer to a plate.

Assemble the burgers with a lettuce leaf and the fish, fennel slaw, and citrus mayo. Serve with blueberry relish and a dill pickle.


Excerpted from Lure by Ned Bell and Valerie Howes. Photographs by Kevin Clark. Copyright 2017 by Chefs for Oceans, recipes copyright by Ned Bell. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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