Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people eat together.Guy Fieri
Sunday dinners are a terrific tradition between family and friends. They don’t need to be complicated; rather they’re intended for us all to slow down and focus on the things that are important to us—each other.
It’s the community at the table and the comfort of gathering that makes all the difference in the world. Lively conversations where we learn and laugh. Friendship and sharing side-by-side. Gathering together where there’s room for all—where strangers become friends, and friends become family.
While gathering around in the kitchen is a terrific source of kinship, sometimes, it’s more about getting the food to the table quickly so we can enjoy each other. When a dinner can come together quickly, is healthy and fresh, and rejuvenates our system, that’s a perfect recipe for a meaningful family dinner.
This pan-seared halibut with summer vegetables is just one of those dishes. Nourishing. Sustaining. Hearty. Clean eating at its best.
The health benefits to a simple halibut dish are manifest.
- Micronutrients: Eating halibut provides you with a high dose of selenium—a micronutrient that acts as an antioxidant—reducing inflation, repairing cells, and aiding thyroid function.
- Protein. Halibut is a terrific example of a pure protein since it is a complete protein. If you’re very active, this helps in the rebuilding and repair of your muscles. If you’re trying to lose weight, this helps with appetite suppression.
- Heart-healthy. Halibut contains tremendous nutrients such as omega-3, niacin, selenium, and magnesium which contribute to good cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure, among other benefits.
- Brain-healthy. The omega-3 boosts your brain’s cognitive and behavioral functions, while the potassium boosts the brain’s ability for memory and learning.
Halibut isn’t the least expensive fish out there these days, I admit. However, the window of sourcing fresh wild halibut is fairly short, so try and take advantage for a special family gathering. And if you can source wild versus farmed, the benefits are even better.
Besides the health benefits, this is a dish that will go from refrigerator, to plate, to table in less than 20 minutes. It’s amazingly versatile so you can pair any of your family’s favorite summer vegetables. I pan-seared the fish, and placed it atop fresh peas, asparagus, and yellow pepper.
A few quick tips for the cooking process:
- Ensure the fish is dry before placing in a pan. (Wipe clean with a paper towel.)
- Season well with good salt and pepper and any other fresh herbs that complement your dish. I used fresh thyme on this recipe.
- Don’t turn continuously. Add some good EVOO in the pan, place fish in pan, and sear for 4-5 minutes, then turn for another 2-3 minutes.
- After searing the fish, place on a plate and tent with foil. Add veggies to the same pan with a little more EVOO if needed, and sauteé until crisp and tender. Add fish back to the pan for another quick minute to warm. Then, plate and serve.
I know this will become a fan-favorite at your table, as it has been at mine. With the added warmth of family and friends, a beautiful sunset, and a crisp glass of wine, you have the makings for the perfect Sunday Dinner gathering.
PAN SEARED HALIBUT, SUMMER VEGETABLES
Menu Suggestion: Summer Salad of Butter Lettuce, Lemon Vinaigrette, Halibut with Summer Vegetables, Fruit Tart
Wine Suggestion: 2018 Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley; Cost: $29.99
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 6-ounce skinless halibut fillets
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea sat, divided
1 teaspoon, fresh thyme
8 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces (approximately 2 cups)
1 cup thinly sliced leek (from one medium leek)
1 cup sliced yellow bell pepper (from 1 medium pepper)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup fresh peas (or frozen baby sweet peas, thawed)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Fresh thyme, for garnish
1. Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the halibut dry; sprinkle evenly on both sides with salt, pepper and thyme. Add fillets to skillet; cook undisturbed until browned and a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 140 degrees. Transfer to a plate to keep warm.
2. Wipe skillet clean; add one tablespoon of the oil. Add asparagus and leek; cook on medium-high until asparagus begins to soften and leek is tender, approximately 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and lemon zest; cook, stirring often until bell pepper softens, approximately 2 minutes. Add peas, butter, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until butter melts and peas are warmed through, about one minute.
3. Spoon vegetables evenly onto four plates. Top each plate with a halibut fillet. Drizzle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle with thyme or thyme sprig.