This time of year, we have an abundance of fresh tomatoes and basil in our garden and so I was recently perusing recipes online to find a new way to use them. I came across this delicious halibut recipe that is perfect for a summertime meal. It originally appeared in the Once Upon a Chef cookbook by Jennifer Segal and was reprinted on The Splendid Table website. Try it; it’s great!
- 1 pint [320 g] cherry or grape tomatoes, preferably mixed colors, halved
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Four 6-oz [170-g] skinless Pacific halibut fillets
- 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, a heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
2. Season the halibut all over with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12‑in [30.5‑cm] nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Place the fish, presentation-side down, in the pan and cook, without touching, until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Flip the fish and lower the heat to medium; continue cooking until the halibut is just firm to the touch and opaque when you pry open a thicker piece with a paring knife, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the cooked halibut to a plate or serving platter.
4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, followed by the cherry tomato mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until the tomatoes start to break down and release their juices, a few minutes. Stir in the basil, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
5. Serve the halibut fillets with the tomatoes spooned over the top and alongside.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.