Nothing goes better with baked halibut than lemon and rosemary. By substituting meat with fish, we up our intake of healthy fats, which is a keystone of the Mediterranean Diet. This traditional recipe for halibut with lemon and rosemary is brought to you by Crete native Koula Barydakis. Read Koula’s write up about this recipe below.
Baked Halibut: A dish for a special occasion
I grew up in a small village in Crete where I learned to prepare the many traditional dishes that I still love cooking today. Some dishes are saved for special occasions like this recipe for baked halibut with lemon and rosemary. In the Greek Orthodox tradition, a feast is held on August 6th in honor of the transformation of Christ on Mount Tabor. On this day, I remember going to the small church near my parent’s house and eating fish after the service.
It is traditional to eat fish on this day so we prepare and share dishes with our fellow churchgoers such as this recipe for baked halibut with lemon and rosemary. Other dishes include octopus risotto, sardines in olive oil and vinegar and stuffed tomatoes and peppers (no beef added). I remember being a kid and watching my mom cooking fish and seafood, preparing for the feast. Halibut was one of the fishes she always cooked on August 6th and I still make it today! I harvest lemons and rosemary from the garden and use the freshest olive oil. My dad used to go down to the market and buy the fish fresh. Now, I follow in his footsteps.
I love fish and look forward to August 6th each year because the ingredients and aromas of the traditional dishes bring back old memories.
Here are some other traditional Greek recipes that will go well with the baked halibut.
Koula Barydakis was born into a long tradition of eating and living Mediterranean on the Greek island of Crete. She is a chef who has worked in many of the top restaurants in Crete and in Greek Town in Toronto, Canada. Koula is the co-author of “Foods of Crete, Traditional Recipes of the Healthiest People in the World” and is currently completing her second cookbook. Koula teaches cooking classes to tourists in Crete and has been hired to teach classes in other countries as well.