Seaside – Jan/Feb/March 2018
Olympia – Jan/Feb 2018

Sablefish, Grilled Romaine, and Lentils with Apricot Butter Sauce Appetizer Recipe

Okanagan sablefish appetizerOkay, we know this recipe is a little complicated, but RFT’s Ski & Dive Editor Yvette Cardozo, who recently visited the beautiful British Columbia’s Okanagan wine region, insists this was THE BEST THING SHE ATE (and she tasted LOTS of terrific dishes). So, if you’re ambitious, try this delectable dish. (You can always increase quantities and serve this as a full meal.)

This recipe, which is part of the Chef’s Table menu, comes courtesy of Courtesy Chris Van Hooydonk, owner and chef at BackYard Farm.

Grilled “Little Gem” Romaine

If you can find baby romaine, we simply slice it in half, give it a quick wash and dry. Rub the cut side with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, and place it cut side down very briefly on a medium- high BBQ. (If you can’t find baby romaine,  you can also use radicchio, or endive.)

Remove from the heat as soon as you get the grill marks, and serve immediately or place in the fridge to cool.

You can also dress the romaine with your favorite vinaigrette if you wish.

Pan Roasted Sablefish

Purchase fresh, skin-on sablefish filets or portions from your local fish purveyor. Typically for an appetizer, we portion 2-3 ounces per person, with the skin on, and scaled.

  • Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Once pan is hot, add a small amount of oil (organic vegetable oil, grapeseed oil is best). For 4 pieces of fish, approximately 3 tablespoons of oil will do. Season fish with salt and place the fish in the pan, skin side down. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until skin gets crisp. Add a few small pieces of lemon, and 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan, then flip the fish.
  • Place fish in a 350’ oven for 4-6 minutes, or until fish is firm. Remove from oven and set aside.

Braised Beluga Lentils

Serves 6-8

2TBSP olive oil

½ onion (fine dice)

1 carrot(fine dice)

1 bell pepper (fine dice)

½ cup corn kernels

1 clove garlic (minced)

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ cup white wine

2 cups lentils

4 cups stock

salt and pepper to taste


  • In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, sauté vegetables in a small amount of olive oil until tender (approximately 5 minutes).
  • Deglaze with wine, and cook until almost dry. Add Lentils, stir to coat with residual oil, add stock. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook at low simmer until lentils are tender (liquid may still be present-that’s ok!).
  • Set aside to cool or serve as desired. Finish with butter and herbs, wilting greens, mushrooms, or as a salad.


Apricot Butter Sauce Reduction

Serves 6

4 very ripe fresh or frozen apricots

1 cup dry white wine

juice of 1 lemon

1 shallot(sliced)

1 clove garlic(minced)

1 bay leaf

1 sprig tarragon

¼ cup whipping cream

¼ pound unsalted butter(cold)

salt to taste


  • Combine all ingredients except cream and butter in a small saucepan, on medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer, and reduce by half. Puree and strain.
  • Add cream to liquid and return to a simmer. Again reduce by half. With a whisk, cool down remaining liquid with cold butter, and hold at room temperature. Season with sea salt as desired and serve!
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Yvette Cardozo, RFT Ski & Dive Editor

Yvette Cardozo from the Seattle, Washington area, likes to visit interesting places and learn about interesting cultures and, if a tasty local dish is involved, so much the better. She’s eaten everything from gourmet food at the world’s finest restaurants to native food in Asia, the arctic, and all kinds of places in between.Yvette recalls being in Antarctica and going out on the land with Inuit elders in arctic Canada , then bagging a caribou. They dragged it back to camp and ate it on the spot raw. She quips, “Hey, if you like steak tartare….”Yvette, who is a veteran skier and diver, is RFT’s Ski & Dive Editor.