If you're intimidated by prepping seafood at home, you're not alone! I've discovered that many home cooks are wary of finicky fish recipes, and truth be told I used to feel the same way. Will it be under cooked? Overcooked? Will my kitchen smell like a shrimp boat? I'm here to ease your worry and insist that, indeed, you can make delicous fish easily at home!
I recently taught a private class and the organizer inquired if I'd demonstrate a good white fish recipe. Her special request inspired me to develop this easy yet elegant recipe for Pistachio Crusted Halibut. The halibut is baked in the oven (so easy!) under a flavorful and crunchy pistachio crust- the crust keeps the fish moist and also adds that craveable crispy texture minus the deep fry technique.
Halibut has a mild flavor and tends to be thicker cut, so as soon as I get it home from the store, I sprinkle my filets with kosher salt and let them chill until cook time so that they are well seasoned throughout. If you have 4 hours, great- but any extra time will suffice! Note that if your fish is on the thicker side (>1-1/2"), you will need to give it more time in the oven. If you're topping gets too brown, just rest a piece of foil over the top to prevent it from burning.
The crust mixture is tasty enough to eat raw off a spoon (which, of course, I did) and would also be delicous on cod or even salmon. The green pistachios against the white halibut make for a beautiful presentation! And that little smear of dijon adds just the right amount of mustardy heat while also helping the crust mixture adhere to the fish. Serve this at a dinner party or on a weeknight- it's a simple, sumptuous fish feast that is sure to boost your cooking confidence when it comes to seafood.
prep time: ~30 min. cook time: 15 min. serves: 4
4 center cut skinless halibut filets, about 6 oz each and ~1-1/2" thick
1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios nuts
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp minced Italian parsley
1 tbsp minced green onions or chives
1 tsp lemon zest
extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dijon mustard, divided
lemon wedges for serving
As soon as you get the halibut home from the store, Pat the filets dry with paper towels and season them all over with kosher salt. Place the fish filets on a rimmed baking sheet and chill until ready to proceed with the recipe, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack placed in the middle. Place the pistachios in a small food processor or spice grinder and pulse until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Add 1/2 cup ground pistachios to a bowl with the panko, parsley, green onion or chives, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, a few cranks of black pepper and 2 tbsp olive oil. Toss the mixture to evenly combine.
Oil the bottom of a baking dish and lay the halibut filets in it rounded side up. Spread 1/2 tsp dijon mustard on top of each filet. Sprinkle the tops generously with more salt and pepper. Next, pile the pistachio mixture on top of each filet, packing it down lightly to evenly coat. Drizzle the tops lightly with a bit more oil, then place in the oven to bake 12-15 minutes, or until fish is cooked through and topping is lightly browned. Tent with foil if getting too brown. The fish is done when if flakes easily and is opaque in the center (use a knife to check) and the topping is golden brown. Thicker filets may require more time. Let the halibut filets rest a few minutes before serving hot with lemon wedges alongside!