Hatfield's Beet-Cured Fluke Recipe

An appetizer that tastes as bold as it looks

After years of marrying California ingredients with classic French technique, the demand for Quinn and Karen Hatfield's food caused them to outgrow their starter space. This spring, they moved their eponymous L.A. restaurant into a glamorous new home that befits Quinn's inventive cuisine. His beet-cured fluke is a fine example: Your dinner guests will be wowed by the combination of flavor, texture and color as they bite into the magenta-tinged fish paired with pickled shallots, tangy herbed yogurt and crunchy shards of pita. And you'll barely need to turn on the stove.

Recipe adapted from Quinn Hatfield, Hatfield's, Los Angeles

Beet-Cured Fluke With Pickled Shallots And Herbed Yogurt
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Quinn Hatfield's recipe for beet-cured fluke from L.A.'s Hatfield's restaurant
Prep Time
Cook Time
appetizer servings
Total time: 0 minutes
  • 1 pita round, cut into 8 wedges
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup grated raw beet
  • 1 skinless fluke fillet (aka flounder), about 8 ounces
  • ¼ cup plain rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large shallot, sliced into ⅛-inch rings
  • ½ cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 3 tablespoons chopped tarragon, divided
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chervil, divided
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Toss the pita wedges with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until crispy and golden. Remove and let cool, then break into bite-size pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ¼ cup of kosher salt with the brown sugar and grated beet. Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap (about 3 feet long) on a baking sheet. Spread about half of the beet mixture in the middle of the plastic wrap and top with the fish. Cover the top of the fish with the remaining beet mixture, then wrap tightly. Place a second baking sheet on top of the fish, weigh it down with heavy cans, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. While the fish is curing, combine the vinegar, granulated sugar and ½ cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Turn the heat off, pour the contents into a nonreactive bowl and let the pickled shallots cool to room temperature.
  4. In a small bowl, stir the yogurt with the lemon zest, chives and 1 tablespoon each of the tarragon, parsley and chervil. Season with salt and pepper and reserve. In another small bowl, toss the remaining herbs with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and reserve.
  5. Unwrap the fluke, rinse away the beet mixture under cold water and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the fish diagonally into ¼-inch pieces. Drizzle the fish with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. To serve, spread 2 tablespoons of herbed yogurt on a plate. Place 4 to 6 folded slices of fish over the yogurt and top with a few pickled shallots, 1 tablespoon of the herb salad and a few pieces of toasted pita crisps. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and serve immediately.
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