With its clean, mild taste, firm texture, and payload of omega-3 fatty acids, halibut pairs beautifully with robust extra virgin olive oils. It is among the largest flat fish in the world, weighing up to 500 pounds!
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons very finely chopped shallot or red onion
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon very finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium jalapeño
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Six 6-ounce halibut fillets
- Fresh watercress or arugula, for serving
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and onion with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, then whisk in the honey, cilantro, mustard, garlic, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over high heat until just smoking. Add the jalapeño and cook, turning, until charred and blistered on all sides, about 2 minutes; let it cool slightly. Slip off the charred skin. Discard the stem and cut the jalapeño in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and finely chop the jalapeño. Stir the jalapeño into the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil over moderately high heat. Season the halibut fillets with salt and pepper and cook, turning once, until they are opaque throughout, about 8 minutes. Transfer the halibut to a platter. Whisk the vinaigrette, spoon it over the fish, and serve with watercress.
Serves 6 — Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, March 2004