1-1/2 cups finely chopped onions
3 tbsp. minced shallot
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 tbsp. Sherry Vinegar*
1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped fine
1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1-1/2 tsp. minced Fresh Thyme plus
1 Thyme Sprig
4 Kalamata or other brine-curred olives,
pitted and chopped fine
2 tbsp. minced Fresh Parsley leaves
3- 10 to 12 ounce pieces of halibut filet,
2 tbsp. dry white wine
1/4 cup fish stock or bottled clam juice
Fresh Thyme sprigs to garnish
*available at specialty stores and some supermarkets
In a heavy skillet cook onion, 1-1/2 tbsp. shallot and garlic in butter with salt and pepper to taste over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is pale golden, about 10 minutes.
Stir in vinegar and cook, covered, 5 minutes. Stir in tomato and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and 1/4 cup oil and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in minced thyme and olives and cook, uncovered, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and remaining 1/4 cup oil and keep vinaigrette warm.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and butter a baking dish just large enough to hold filets in one layer.
Sprinkle remaining 1-1/2 tbsp. shallot in baking dish and arrange fillets, seasoned with salt and pepper. Add Thyme sprig, wine and stock or clam juice and cover filets with a buttered piece of wax paper. Bake fish in the middle of oven 10 to 15 minutes (depending on thickness of fillets), or until just cooked through.
Transfer baked fillets to a large platter and keep warm. Pour cooking liquid through a fine sieve set over skillet with vinaigrette. Cook vinaigrette over moderate heat, stirring, until warm and cooking liquid is incorporated.
Serve fish, garnished with thyme sprigs, with warm vinaigrette.