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Oven-Steamed Halibut with Nutty Herb Pesto

  • Halibut
  • One-pot
  • 10 ingredients or less
  • Fast
  • Grace Parisi
  • Active Time:25 min
  • Total Time:30 min
  • Servings:2
  • Difficulty:Easy
Photo by Julia Gartland

Hazelnuts add a distinctive, nutty richness to this pesto which is absolutely delicious on simply-prepared whitefish but roasted almonds make a great alternative.


  • ½ cup blanched, roasted hazelnuts or roasted salted almonds

  • ¼ cup (lightly packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • ¼ cup pitted green olives

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 portion halibut, (10 to 12 ounces), cut into 2 pieces Available In Our Premium Subscription Box

  • 2 thin lemon slices, plus wedges for serving

  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs


Make the Pesto

To make the pesto, transfer the nuts to a food processor. Add the parsley and garlic and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the ½ cup olive oil, green olives, and crushed red pepper, and pulse to combine. Season with salt and black pepper.

Prepare the Halibut

Preheat the oven temperature to 400°F. Cut two 12- by 15-inch pieces of parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Place the fish in the centers of each piece of parchment and season lightly with salt and black pepper. Top each with a lemon slice, thyme sprig, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Lift two opposite sides of the parchment paper to meet in the middle above the fish fillet. Tightly roll the paper all the way down to the fish, then fold over each end and tuck it underneath the package to seal. Place the parchment packages on a sturdy baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake the Halibut

Bake until the parchment is puffed and the fish is just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the packets to plates. Open carefully to release the steam. Discard the lemon slices. Serve topped with the pesto, with the lemon wedges alongside

Pro Tips

Pair it Up

A bright and crisp albariño or vinho verde is a lovely match for the lightness of the fish and a perfect balance for the richness of the pesto.

Spice It Up

Sprinkle the fish with an African or Middle Eastern spice blend before cooking for deeper flavor. Try baharat, berbere, harissa, or ras el hanout.

Change It Up

Toss any leftover fish and pesto with hot, buttery noodles for next-day’s dinner.


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