Halibut Recipe Ideas

Halibut the potassium rich fish, with pestoHalibut is maybe the best seafood source of potassium out there. And its mild flavor means that it is a widely popular fish in areas where seafood is not a staple. The fish snobs among us may prefer a fish with more oily or distinctive taste, and see the milder fish as appealing to people to essentially don’t like fish. On the other hand, those of us with kids want something that will be eaten. And even the food snobs have to admit that milder fish such as halibut make an ideal canvas for flavorful sauces and cooking styles.

Halibut is perfectly fine broiled with a bit of butter and lemon. But why stop there? It will be the sauce that makes it a memorable meal, so let’s look at two quick and easy toppings that will delight guests. One is pesto. The other is mayonnaise based. Let’s start with the pesto.

For either recipe, you basically are looking at baking a filet or cut of halibut as in the picture. Generally, 30 minutes at 200 C will do the trick. Lather the fish with butter or olive oil before baking to prevent drying.

Pesto: Pesto ingredients can be just about anything. But, to narrow it down, I go with three or four basics-

Basil, anchovies, parmesan cheese, olive oil and garlic.

OK… so that’s 5 basics. The portions of each, though, will be up to your taste. I would add a handful or two of fresh basil to a mixer, along with one whole tin of anchovies. The anchovies provide a depth of flavor as well as a nice saltiness. I used to be timid with them, until I noticed that people were always happier with the taste when I added more. There’s no need to tell your guests that you are using anchovies, though, as many (if they are American) already assume they don’t like them. What they don’t know won’t hurt them. (Unless, of course, they have an anchovy allergy – but most people with allergies of any kind will speak up about them beforehand.)

The garlic is added to taste  – not much will be needed. The olive oil is to taste and is also there to make the pesto more liquid. If you want a more liquid pesto with less oil, a bit of water will be fine as well. The parmesan cheese is also to taste.

Throw these five essential ingredients in the mixer or food processor, and spin away until you have a paste. If you have some spinach that you haven’t been able to get your kids to eat, now is the time to throw that in as well. They will never know…

Bake the fish as suggested, and in the last 10 minutes add the pesto over the top. You will have a very rich pesto halibut.

Mayonnaise topping:

This is one you’ll want to put on before popping the halibut in the oven. Simply slathering the top with mayo will give you a nice bechamel type crust after baking. However, it’s nice to spice it up a bit. Mix the mayo with a touch of parmesan cheese, some chopped parsley, and some chives. Once you have covered the top of the fish with this mixture, sprinkle some bread crumbs on top. They add a nice golden color as well as a bit of welcome texture.

These are two simple ways to flavor up your halibut. Feel free to experiment with salsa or other rich sauces. It’s all good, as the taste of the fish is not going to conflict.

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