Sunday, March 25, 2012
Oh halibut, I do believe you are my favorite fish! Mild, warm, buttery, and so not fishy tasting at all. It's too bad you are so expensive! I only buy you for special occasions.
Okay, enough of writing this like a letter to a dead fish. My absolute favorite way to eat halibut is with cilantro. I first had halibut in Cambria for an anniversary a couple of years ago, and it had a nut crust with a cilantro drizzle. Well, I couldn't remember exactly what was in it, but I decided to do a deconstructed sort of version of something like it. Or maybe I just tried to create something yummy on the spot. Either way you look at it, it turned out just as delicious as I hoped it would. If you ever get some halibut, I suggest trying it this way or a recipe with a similar flavor profile.
Halibut with cilantro coconut pesto
12 oz halibut, fresh and on the skin if possible
Extra virgin olive oil
Drizzle halibut with olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt, then bake at 350 degrees, skin down, until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees, about 24 minutes. Let rest a couple of minutes, then top with pesto or other toppings/drizzles.
Cilantro coconut pesto (amounts are approximate-please taste along the way to find a proportion you like!)
1 small bunch fresh cilantro, leaves only
A handful or two of fresh parsley (opt)
1/3 cup raw pepitas
1/4 flaked unsweetened coconut (also great for making granola!)
1 small clove of garlic
a pinch of salt
about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of chipotle powder (can sub with cayenne, but you will miss the smokiness)
Toast the pepitas until golden and/or popping. I like to do this in a dry skillet, but a toaster oven works as well. Then toast the coconut. It will go fast, so watch and stir! Reserve a bit of the pepitas and coconut for garnish.
Combine herbs, pepitas, coconut, garlic, and a pinch of salt in a food processor until very fine. Slowly pour in oil while running the machine, pausing to scrape things down as necessary. The more oil you use, the more it will look like sauce. I tend to use restraint with my oil, not only to keep costs down, but also because I like a robust herb flavor.
Place spoonfuls of pesto on the halibut, garnish with pepitas, coconut, and a pinch of chipotle, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.