3 whole garlic cloves, plus 1 clove finely chopped
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 lb. halibut steak, halved
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tsp.
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 large basil leaves, cut in very thin strips for garnish (optional)
4 slices toasted rustic bread (optional)
Place the carrots, celery, onion and whole garlic cloves in a deep saucepan. Add 4 cups cold water and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Add the fish. Simmer gently 12 minutes. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon. Remove the skin and bones from the fish and add to the pot. Set the fish aside.
Simmer the mixture, which is now a stock, 20 minutes or until reduced to about 3 cups. Strain into a large bowl and set aside. Discard solids. Rinse and dry the pot.
Heat the oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and ginger and saute gently until garlic colors lightly, 30 seconds. Add the stock, pepper flakes, lemon juice and tomato paste. Return the fish to the pot. Heat until the stock is steaming. Add the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, garnished with the basil, if using, along with the bread, if desired. (After being refrigerated overnight and reheated, this stew may take on a "fishy" taste.