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Sautéed Halibut with Lemon-Pesto Butter

Halibut recipe
Excerpted from The Salmon Sisters by permission of Sasquatch Books. © 2020 by Emma Teal Laukitis and Claire Neaton. All rights reserved.

We used to spend the afternoons jigging for halibut from our mom’s skiff in Ikatan Bay, sometimes bringing home a forty- to hundred-pound fish that would feed our family for many meals. One reason we love halibut so much is that it’s incredibly versatile but also easy to cook. This recipe is a good example of how tasty it can be with a simple preparation—all you really need is halibut, butter, herbs, and a good pan. Paired with lemon or pesto pasta, this is one of our family’s favorite weekday dinners.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 Tbsp. for coating the pan

  • 1 Tbsp. homemade or store-bought pesto

  • 1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil

  • 1 tsp. finely chopped shallots

  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest

  • 6 (4-ounce) skinless halibut portions

  • 1 tsp. flaky sea salt

  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • Combine the butter, pesto, basil, shallots, and lemon zest in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until the butter is melted and all is well blended.
  • Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the halibut evenly on both sides with the salt and pepper. Coat the pan with butter. Once melted, add the halibut and cook for five minutes on each side. Test doneness by cutting into the center of a fillet with a knife. The fish should flake apart and appear opaque white, not translucent. Pour the lemon-pesto butter over the fish before serving.

Sautéed Halibut with Lemon-Pesto Butter

Recipe by Emma Teal Laukitis & Claire Neaton, Salmon SistersCourse: MainCuisine: American, Italian
Servings

6servings

Prep time

20minutes

Cooking time

10minutes

Total time

30minutes

We used to spend the afternoons jigging for halibut from our mom’s skiff in Ikatan Bay, sometimes bringing home a forty- to hundred-pound fish that would feed our family for many meals. One reason we love halibut so much is that it’s incredibly versatile but also easy to cook. This recipe is a good example of how tasty it can be with a simple preparation—all you really need is halibut, butter, herbs, and a good pan. Paired with lemon or pesto pasta, this is one of our family’s favorite weekday dinners.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 Tbsp. for coating the pan

  • 1 Tbsp. homemade or store-bought pesto

  • 1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil

  • 1 tsp. finely chopped shallots

  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest

  • 6 (4-ounce) skinless halibut portions

  • 1 tsp. flaky sea salt

  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • Combine the butter, pesto, basil, shallots, and lemon zest in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until the butter is melted and all is well blended.
  • Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the halibut evenly on both sides with the salt and pepper. Coat the pan with butter. Once melted, add the halibut and cook for five minutes on each side. Test doneness by cutting into the center of a fillet with a knife. The fish should flake apart and appear opaque white, not translucent. Pour the lemon-pesto butter over the fish before serving.
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