Halibut is one of my favorite fishes – it’s flaky, mild and goes with just about anything! We served seared halibut filets with warm fregola and topped it all off with a beautiful, summery mango salad! On the side, we served our dinner with fresh tomato slices drizzled in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with a little salt and pepper and it was delicious!
Fregola is a pasta from Sardinia and is typically made from semolina dough that has been rolled into very small balls. If you can’t find fregola in your grocery store, you can replace with Israeli ptitim (also called Israeli couscous).
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 45 minutes Note: This time estimate includes the time to make the mango salad.
1 ½ pounds halibut
2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups fregola
1 tablespoon butter, plus one tablespoon olive oil
2 ½ cups water or vegetable stock, plus more
4 ounces fresh spinach
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
Fresh tomato slices, optional, as a side
Prepare the Salad: Prepare the mango salad according to the recipe and chill until ready to serve.
Prep Ingredients: Mince the cilantro. Cut the halibut into 4 equal-sized filets and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper and chill until ready to cook.
Cook the Fregola: In a medium pot, heat the 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until very hot and frothy. Add the fregola and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the 2 ½ cups water or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the fregola is just slightly under al dente (about 1 minute or two before the cooking time is finished). Note: If the fregola is sticking or seems dry as you’re cooking it, you can add more water as necessary.
Finish the Fregola: Once the fregola is just under al dente, stir in the spinach and cover and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the spinach has wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cilantro. Remove the fregola from the heat and keep warm.
Cook the Halibut: In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high until shimmering and very hot. Add the halibut, flesh side down and cook for 3-4 minutes or until well browned. Gently flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the flesh is cooked through. Remove from heat.
To Serve: Divide the warm fregola between plates and gently lay a filet of halibut on top. Spoon the mango salad over top and serve with fresh tomato slices on the side, if desired. Enjoy!