Pan seared halibut

It’s halibut season again, and this is one of my favorite fish — especially prepared this simple, flavorful way. Halibut is a mild fish which takes on the flavor of a sauce very nicely. You simply have to be careful not to overcook halibut or it will dry out and taste terrible.

This particular recipe is versatile because you can pick and choose ingredients based on personal preference and/or what you have in the fridge. The only essential ones are the fish (of course!), tomatoes, basil, lemon and butter.

Recipe serves 2-3

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Halibut: 1 pound
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of chopped tomatoes
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 1 lemon

Pantry items:

  • Butter (2-3 TBSP)
  • Olive oil

Optional ingredients:

  • Capers
  • Garlic
  • Scallions
  • Shallots

Steps One: Prep

Season the fish with salt and pepper. Chop the tomatoes, garlic and scallions. A great substitution for garlic and/or scallions is shallots.

Clean and loosely chop basil. Note: I substituted parsely on this particular evening because I didn’t have fresh basil.

Step Two: Cook

Saute garlic, scallions and capers in olive oil a minute or so before adding the fish. If don’t like any of these ingredients, skip this step.

Sear the halibut on medium heat for a minute or two in oiled pan and flip.

Add tomatoes, basil, and butter. Squeeze the juice from a lemon on top. Turn down the heat and cook another 2-3 minutes until halibut is cooked through. Timing will depend on thickness of fish.

Note: Halibut turns from translucent to white when it’s ready. To be safe, check in the thickest part of the fish, and if it’s almost white, take it off the heat and let it finish cooking 1-2 minute off the stove.

Step 3: Serve

You can serve this with rice or couscous and a side vegetable. I generally like serving this with broccoli or spinach because these vegetables taste nice with the sauce. I chose a salad the other night because we have lots of fresh greens in our back yard right now.

Melinda Hinson