Pan-seared halibut is bathed in brown butter before getting slathered in a punchy gremolata that, along with a lemony and bright asparagus salad, is a delicious counterpoint to the buttery sauce. Part cozy, part fresh, this dish proclaims that spring has sprung.
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 large garlic clove, grated
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 bunches asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 portion halibut (8 to 10 ounce)
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
MAKE THE GREMOLATA
In a medium bowl, combine the parsley, cilantro, garlic, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, and salt.
MAKE THE ASPARAGUS SALAD
Place the asparagus on a cutting board. Holding the stem end, use a vegetable peeler to peel the asparagus in the opposite direction to create a ribbon. Repeat with the remaining bunch of asparagus and transfer to the bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, and toss to combine.
MAKE THE HALIBUT
Pat the halibut dry with paper towels and season all over with salt and pepper. In a large cast iron or nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the halibut and cook, without moving, for 3 minutes. Carefully flip the fish over and continue cooking for 2 minutes until the halibut is just cooked through and easily flakes around the edges. Cut into 2 pieces and transfer to plates.
To the same pan, add the butter and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is golden brown and aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes.
Spoon the brown butter over the fish, top with the gremolata, and serve the asparagus salad alongside.
PAIR IT UP
A wine such as a white Rioja from Spain or an unoaked Chardonnay is both medium bodied enough to stand up to the richness of the brown butter, and fresh enough to complement the citrus herb gremolata and asparagus.
LEVEL IT UP
Add sliced toasted almonds to the asparagus salad for a lovely crunch.
CHANGE IT UP
Sauté any leftover asparagus salad and fold into an omelet or scrambled eggs with leftover halibut for a hearty brunch or breakfast.
LIGHTEN IT UP
Though butter is integral to this recipe, Sautéed Brown Butter Halibut, you can finish the dish with a drizzle of olive oil and forego the butter altogether