Steamed Fish with Wild Celery Pesto and Fiddleheads

Steamed Fish with Wild Celery Pesto and Fiddleheads.jpg

We tried steaming cod, grouper and halibut to see which one worked best. Halibut was the clear winner. If wild celery is not available, make a pesto following the same recipe with either wild leeks or dandelion greens.

Servings: 4


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped wild celery, using stems and leaves
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 4 – 6 oz (175 g) halibut fillets
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce
  • 8 oz (250 g) fiddleheads (24 pieces), well washed and blanched for three minutes
  • 8 oz (250 g) thick asparagus stalks (8-10 stalks), trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 8 oz (250 g) wild leeks (1 bunch), trimmed and washed


Purée wild celery, spinach, parsley and garlic in a food processor or mini chop. Stir in Pecorino and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add a touch of lime juice if needed. Reserve.

Fill a pot or wok large enough to fit a Chinese steamer basket or steamer half way with water (or use a steamer). Set basket aside and bring water to boil.

Season fish with fish sauce and red pepper flakes. Line steamer with iceberg lettuce leaves. Place fiddleheads and asparagus over lettuce. Place lid on basket and set basket over boiling water. Steam vegetables for two minutes.

Lift lid and place fish on top. Steam until fish is almost cooked, about five to seven minutes.

Add wild leeks and steam three minutes longer or until fish is cooked but not dry.

Place fish and vegetables on four plates and dot with pesto. Serve with the lettuce if desired.