Roasted Sablefish with Spot Prawn Risotto and a Citrus Beurre Blanc

Happy Easter! This weekend for Easter Sunday dinner will it be turkey or ham?

As Easter can fall anytime between March 22nd and April 25 (dictated by the timing of the first full moon after the spring equinox and Passover) it can often feel like the big bunny is hopping in either right in the thick of winter or into a balmy, full blown spring.  This year it is sliding in right under the wire and while we are hardly enjoying any temperatures that could be called “balmy” we are in for a weekend filled with sunshine and daffodils and the smell of warm earth and green grass.

For the above mentioned reasons it can be tough to plan a menu that is “seasonal” for Easter. In theory, I tend to favour a brunch to celebrate this holiday and like to make this breakfast pie as the centrepiece to a buffet style gathering. Brunch can be mercifully low key and since I am already hepped up on all that chocolate I have eaten first thing in the morning it is the perfect time to power through and make a late breakfast/early lunch. Plus I am kind of overwhelmed by cooking turkeys and am not a huge ham fan.

However, sometimes you just gotta do dinner.

I cooked this sablefish and spot prawn risotto combo last night for some family and friends and thought that it would make a lovely, if unconventional, Easter dinner or lunch. Simple to make yet packed with bright spring flavours it would pair beautifully with a arugula or mixed green salad adorned with some shavings of good parmesan cheese and sprinkled with some toasted pine nuts.

This would work beautifully for a crowd as well. Do the prep for the risotto (dicing the onions and celery, mincing the garlic, peeling the spot prawns and measuring out the rice, stock and wine) early in the day. Portion your fish and season a couple hours before. Wash your greens, make your vinaigrette, toast the pine nuts and shave the parmesan.  Before your guests arrive put out one or two beautifully ripe cheeses, cut a baguette into slices, warm some good green olives with a bit of fruity olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Open some wine. A Viognier or a Pinot Gris would both pair beautifully with this dish. Pinot Noir would be a good choice if red wine is preferred.

Forty-five minutes before you want to serve dinner start your risotto and then ask your favourite guest to take over the always coveted role of “chief stirrer”. Ply them with a glass of wine if necessary. Start reducing the orange and grapefruit juice for the sauce. When the risotto is 15 minutes or so away from being done put your fish in a pan and sear it off before you transfer it to the oven for a final few minutes. Whisk the butter into the reduced juice to make your sauce. Plate the risotto, top with the sablefish and nap with the beurre blanc, then garnish with some fresh pea shoots. Or serve everything on platters family style and pass the citrus sauce separately.

The beautiful thing about sablefish is how forgiving it is to cook. If it spends a few minutes too long in the oven no one will ever notice. It is the easiest fish to cook. Plus it is delicious. And sustainable. Win, win, win.

For dessert you could do a vanilla panna cotta with a rhubarb compote or simply pass around the always alarming number of chocolate easter eggs and bunnies that are in the house. I don’t want to be left alone with all that chocolate.

Whatever your menu, whatever your plans, here’s to a stress free, seasonal, springy Easter meal!

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3 Responses to Roasted Sablefish with Spot Prawn Risotto and a Citrus Beurre Blanc

  1. Tracy says:

    I want to eat everything you make. It’s just that simple.

  2. LESLIE THOMAS says:


  3. LS says:

    Too much citrus. I would not add the lemon and zest at the end to the risotto. The juice reduction needs a lot more time to cut that much as well. Otherwise, very nice pairings with the sablefish and prawn risotto.

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