In the mood for a big salad and lucky enough to have the world’s greatest aunt, we decided on a thick piece of halibut for dinner with a big fresh and raw salad with lots of thinly sliced prosciutto, whole roasted beets (who doesn’t love a good beet salad?), and fresh vegetables and greens. Simple fish recipes are winning this week! Served with a tangy roast lemon vinaigrette, this salad managed to be filling enough for four people with one large piece of fish and only a few ounces of prosciutto and cheese. If you are the sort of person who serves meats and cheeses when you have people over, this is exactly the sort of meal that can use up any leftovers for which you might not have a definite use!
One of the many things that makes my aunt so incredible is her annual tendency to head out to Alaska to fish for salmon and halibut. Her stories of the people she meets, the wildlife, the scenery, and just life in Alaska in general are amazing! She and my uncle (both incredible fishermen (…fisherpeople?)) manage to haul in something like a zillion pounds of salmon and halibut every year, and they are incredibly generous sharing it with us. They even managed to convince my parents to go with them one year! The number of fish recipes we have come up with after these trips is pretty incredible. What can’t you do with a freezer full of salmon and halibut?
Not wanting to use too much of our stash for any of our fish recipes this week, we decided to thaw one very generously-sized piece for dinner and serve it with a fresh salad. Dad had cooked some beets earlier in the day (here’s a great recipe for whole roasted beets that you can use for any beet salad), so we wanted to include those, plus we had a little prosciutto left over from New Year’s Eve. Nearly everything else was raw, but when finishing the halibut in the oven, I threw a couple of lemon halves in the cast iron pan and used the juice from the roast lemons both in the vinaigrette and also simply squeezed over the fish. Simple, fast, fresh, healthy, and delicious, this salad recipe is so healthy it makes you feel great to eat it!
Remember, cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your fish. This is the case with all fish recipes. It’s smart to cook halibut all the way through, but you also don’t want to let it get overcooked and dry. It’s totally fine to pull your fish apart a little and see if it’s cooked through, or you can use a meat thermometer and aim for 145°. Let it rest for a few minutes before plating and you’ll have a lovely, moist, and tender piece of halibut. Just like for the last salmon recipe, you’ll want to get your pan really hot, make sure your halibut is seasoned well, and then gently add it to the pan without moving it around much. It will be much less likely to stick that way! Then be patient while it cooks more than halfway, and then gently flip it over. When you work with a variety of fish that wants to be cooked all the way through and/or you have a nice fat portion, finishing it in the oven makes a lot of sense for fish recipes like this one.
Simple Fish Recipes: Alaskan Halibut with Prosciutto, Olive, and Roasted Beet Salad
- 1 lemon, halved (roast with the fish)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 scallion, white part only, sliced (reserve green part for salad garnish)
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs champagne vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
- 1 pinch dried red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt, pepper
- 1 large piece halibut 8-12 oz
- lemon from above
- 1 Tbs oil (neutral like vegetable or safflower)
- 2 large or 3-4 small whole roasted beets
- 1 head lettuce (I used butter lettuce, but use what you like!), cleaned
- 5-6 pieces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 4 oz room temperature soft cheese (I used Red Hawk, but brie would be fantastic)
- 1/2 cup broccoli, separated or cut into small florets
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 6-8 large green olives, sliced or minced (I used Castelvetrano olives)
- 2 scallions, green part only, sliced
- Add the vinegar to the shallots and green onion with a pinch of salt and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add the mustard, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper and mix well.
- Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly to fully incorporate.
- Squeeze in the juice from 1/2 of the roast lemon, reserving 1/2 to squeeze over the fish. Mix well, season to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 375
- Heat the oil in a large pan (cast iron, if you have one) until nearly smoking.
- Season the halibut on all sides generously with salt and pepper.
- Carefully add the fish to the pan, cook for 1 minute, and reduce the heat to medium.
- Cook until the fish starts to become golden in color and you can see it becoming opaque and cooked through on the sides, 4-6 minutes, depending on the thickness of your halibut.
- Gently flip the halibut over. Add the lemon halves to the pan cut-side down and put the pan in the oven until the fish is cooked through. 6-10 minutes.
- Remove the fish from the pan and squeeze one half lemon over the top. Rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Cut the beets into bite-sized wedges and dress with a little of the dressing and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Tear the lettuce into smaller pieces and toss with salad dressing, broccoli, celery, olives, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Plate the prosciutto and the cheese on one side of your platter and the beets on the opposite side (this will help keep beet juice from staining your cheese and prosciutto!). Mound the salad between the two sides and sprinkle with green onion. Place the halibut on the salad (or off to one side if it's a nice and heavy piece that will crush your salad), serve, and enjoy!
Looking for more healthy dinner recipes? You might want to check out the
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