Marinated Halibut Fillets
We love halibut for a bunch of reasons. It’s a dense, hearty fish, so it holds up in the pan or on the grill, but it tastes just as buttery as salmon or trout. Halibut is less fatty, so it has a nice, mild flavor — clean, fresh, and not too “fishy” for the seafood wary. And, like many a fish, it cooks in minutes, which makes it terrific for weeknight dining.
Here, we’ve marinated it in lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil, and then seared it in a smoking hot pan for just minutes per side. In the pan, it developed a beautiful crust — crisp and lemony with a delightful salty crunch. It’s a simple dish, yet so pleasing.
Halibut is very happy in the center of the plate. We like to serve it with a tossed salad — think leafy greens, radishes, and peas tossed in a fish-friendly lemon mustard vinaigrette. It also makes a scrumptious appetizer: Serve the halibut in bite-size pieces with a rich chimichurri or aioli sauce for dipping.
6 Tbsp olive oil
3 small garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice
4 6-oz halibut fillets, skin removed
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
Chopped parsley, for garnish
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Add the fish, turn to coat, and cover. Refrigerate the fish for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
In a large, flat skillet (do not use a ridged pan), add the grapeseed oil, tilting the pan to spread the oil evenly. Warm the oil over high heat until smoking, and then add the fish fillets. Brush the top and sides of the fish with the marinade.
Cook the fish until it’s seared, about 3 minutes; flip the fish, and sear the other side, about 3 more minutes.
Turn the fish once more and cook it until the centers of the fillets are just opaque, or the inside of the fillet reaches 165° on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 to 4 minutes more.
Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve.
Recipe source: NYT Cooking