Soave & Braised Halibut with Leeks and Mustard

I dedicate this post to Victor Hazan, my inspiration for the beauties of Italian wine, and the mentor who enabled so much of Marcella Hazan’s marvelous contributions to our understanding of great Italian cucina.

My visit to the fish store in Cambridge early in the week was very productive. I bought fresh swordfish, countneck clams, Maine mussels, a frozen 2-lb. bag of Ez-peel shrimp, and a gorgeous halibut steak — almost 2″ thick. This post is all about the halibut, and the accompanying wine — Soave.

I decided to make dinner because Barbara was out most of the day, and she had a meeting to go to after dinner, so it was easy for me to make what I wanted. A quick search of my favorite halibut recipes produced this one:

The recipe was designed for 4 people, so I cut everything in half (including the thick chunk of halibut), which was perfect for us. What I love about this recipe is the gentle braising of the fish and the rich flavors of the butter, leek, and mustard, sautéeing in my copper pot.

It was an easy meal to put together. Cook the fish, boil green beans, reheat leftover whole wheat orzo, flavored with chopped plum tomato and fresh basil. To make things a little more exciting, I chose to add a few Medjool dates I just received from California, which I wrapped in bacon and roasted in a hot oven until crisp.

Having just been to Social Wines in Southie, I had a new bottle of my favorite Soave, a 2020 Inama Soave Classico, which was just right for the recipe and the resulting dinner. However, what made this the most fun was my short exploration after dinner, to see what Victor Hazan had to say about Soave. Here are two short excerpts from his book that say it all so beautifully and gave me much pleasure after the meal. Grazie mille, Victor!

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