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Halibut with Olives & Tomato

Halibut is nothing less than ambrosia. Its delicate flavor stands easily on its own with little need for sauces and sides. As with any fish, however, a little acid and a savory touch can turn a perfect main course into a life-changing experience that leaves you with those “Remember when we had…” cravings. Halibut can be the easiest and most difficult fish to cook at the same time. It’s all about erring on the side of undercooking rather than overcooking—the best way to ruin a good piece of halibut is to overcook it. I suggest preparing your halibut into portion-sized pieces and watchfully pan frying them in this dead simple, stupidly delicious recipe, with optional Mediterranean-inspired sauce. Just remember … I warned you.

Joel Unickow with a fresh caught halibut

Halibut with Olives & Tomato

Joel Unickow
Warning: Reading this may cause uncontrollable drooling
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Seafood
Servings 2


  • Sauce Pan


  • 2 Wild-caught halibut fillets
  • 2 cup Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Lemons
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 Smashed garlic clove
  • 2 Shallots, chopped
  • 1/3 cup White wine
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Italian parsley


  • Sauce: Heat a good glug of oil in a small saucepan on medium-high heat. In a medium bowl add garlic,cherry tomatoes, shallots, olives, and salt and pepper to taste. Put your mixture into the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes start to break down. Add white wine, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer while you cook the fillets. Squeeze in lemon juice to taste.
  • Pat fillets until dry, and generously salt and pepper both sides.In a small to medium-sized skillet,heat butter and drop in fillets on medium-high heat, presentation side down.Carefully watch the fillets—after 2-3minutes, they should be golden and crisp before flipping. Squeeze a wedge of lemon on the fish as it cooks. Gently flip the fillets and cook until just slightly firm to the touch. Prying apart a small section should reveal a slightly transparent—this is when you move toplate the fish (it will continue to cook while resting). Squeeze another wedge of lemon on, then spoon on your sauce mixture. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with an additional lemon wedge.
    Serve with a good, rustic, crusty bread and your favorite complementary vegetable side, like small potatoes and/or asparagus. Prepare to be wowed!
Keyword Halibut

This article appeared in Island Fisherman Magazine. Never miss another issue—subscribe today!


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