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Pan Seared Halibut with Pesto Quinoa and Tangy Slaw

Pan Seared Halibut
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This dish is hearty enough to keep you warm in the winter yet not weighed down in the summer and the vibrant colors of the winter vegetable slaw are sure to transform you to warmer weather.  Remember, root vegetables are not the only seasonal form of nutrition: bulb vegetables tend to add color and texture, making cooking and eating fun.  Tossing quinoa* in an herbaceous cilantro-mint pesto rounds out the dish in flavor and nutritional value.

Ingredients & Method  (Serves 2-4, depending on appetite)

For Slaw:

  • 1 green apple, julienned
  • 1 large watermelon radish, julienned
  • 1 fennel bulb, very thinly sliced (use a mandolin if available)
  • ¼ cup picked cilantro
  • ¼ cup picked mint
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

In a bowl, combine all ingredients.  Adjust seasoning to taste and set aside.

For Cilantro-Mint Pesto Quinoa:

  • 1 Cup quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Pinch of Salt
  • ½ cup Cilantro-Mint pesto (see recipe)

In a small pot, bring water, quinoa and salt to a hard boil.  Reduce to a gentle simmer and cover.  Remove from heat once all water is absorbed and quinoa is tender.  Transfer to a parchment lined sheet tray or a plate and spread evenly to allow for even cooling.  Once cooled, transfer to a bowl and fold in pesto until quinoa grains are evenly coated.  Set aside.

For Halibut:

  • 2-4 portions of halibut, skin on
  • lime salt (see recipe)
  • ½ tablespoon Canola or any neutral oil

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  Heat oil on medium- high in a heavy-bottomed pan such as cast iron.  Season fish all over with lime salt.  Once pan and oil are scorching hot, but not smoking, add fish to pan skin side down.  Once flesh of fish begins to cook through from the bottom, transfer pan to oven for about 4-5 minutes or until desired doneness.

To serve, plate pesto quinoa, place fish on top and garnish with slaw.

* Quinoa is an ancient grain native to South America.  It is high in protein, amino acids, fiber, phosphorous, magnesium and iron.

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