Recipe: Strang Hall chef Brett DeHart’s Ajo Blanco salad + fish

Picture of Ajo Blanco salad and chef Brett DeHart

Picture of Ajo Blanco salad and chef Brett DeHart. | Photo via SILVA + STERN.

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Chef Brett DeHart is the creative force behind Fenix and Tora Zushi, two restaurants in Strang Hall. He presents this recipe as one of his featured dishes in his April concept — a world tastebud tour he’s calling PANGAEA.

This fish-based meal evokes flavors from Spain, where the traditional Ajo Blanco cold soup is transformed into the salad’s vinaigrette.

Makes 1 serving


  • 3 tablespoons almonds
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup white grapes
  • 2 teaspoons salt kosher
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup olive oil

Place all the ingredients in a blender and combine until well blended. Slowly add the olive oil with the motor running until the mixture is emulsified.


  • 2 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 slice Serrano ham, thinly sliced, baked to a crisp
  • French bread crostini
  • 3 tablespoons whipped goat cheese rolled in toasted almonds, sherry or heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons diced white grapes

Place crostini on a serving plate and top with ham, goat cheese, and grapes. Dress salad greens with vinaigrette.


  • ¼ cup roughly chopped white grapes
  • 1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Combine grapes, garlic, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.


  • 7 ounces sablefish (known as black cod) or white fish of your preference

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat cooking oil in a skillet over low heat. Season filets on both sides with salt + pepper, and sear skin side up. Flip the fish for another 30 seconds to a minute. Place filet in an oven-safe pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily.

Serve fish topped with chutney, and build the salad atop the crostini.

Chef Brett’s five-course PANGAEA mealwith bonus wine pairings — is Mon., April 25 at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $100.

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