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Sear-Roasted Halibut with Blood Orange Salsa

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Serves 4

  • by Joanne Weir from Fine Cooking
    Issue 97

Nothing brightens up a winter meal like citrus. In this dish, the sear-roasting method allows the halibut to form that gorgeous crust while keeping the inside moist, and since the fish's flavor is mild, it's the perfect vehicle for the blood orange salsa that's bursting with sweet, citrusy flavor.  

For the salsa
  • 3/4 cup fresh navel or Valencia orange juice (from 2 medium oranges)
  • 3 small blood oranges, cut into segments, segments cut in half
  • 2 Tbs. minced red onion
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated navel or Valencia orange zest (from 2 medium oranges)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the halibut
  • 1 tsp. finely grated navel or Valencia orange zest (from 1 small orange)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 6-oz. skinless halibut fillets
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.

Make the salsa

In a small saucepan, boil the orange juice over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the reduced orange juice, blood orange segments, onion, cilantro, olive oil, and orange zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook the halibut

In a small bowl, mix the orange zest, thyme, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Rub the mixture all over the halibut fillets. Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering hot, arrange the fillets in the pan. Sear for about 2 minutes without moving; then use a thin slotted metal spatula to lift a piece of fish and check the color. When the fillets are nicely browned, flip them and put the pan in the oven.

Roast until the halibut is just cooked  through, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the halibut to serving plates. Spoon some of the salsa over each fillet.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with a side salad of Butter Lettuce with Poppy Seed & Tarragon Crème Fraîche Dressing

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 380; Fat (g): 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): 2.5; Protein (g): 37; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): 18; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): 510; Cholesterol (mg): 55; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Made this with a couple of friends last night, along with the butter lettuce salad recommendation. It was super-easy to prepare and turned out absolutely delicious. My two year old daughter even tried some and liked it! We increased the red onion in the salsa, and we all thought that it worked nicely.

Used ingredients as listed and was delicious! Both my husband and daughter truly enjoyed. Will make again!

A great recipe! I substituted cod for halibut, mandarin oranges for blood oranges, minced green onion for red onion, and parsley for cilantro, delicious.

I did the salsa several hour ahead which made this recipe quick to pull together. Served it on a bed of white rice.

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