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Seared Halibut with Spicy Tomato Oil_MidPage – 1

Seared Halibut with Spicy Tomato Oil

5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Inactive time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 679kcal


  • Wide pot or skillet
  • Food processor


  • 2 large tomatoes sliced into rounds, for serving
  • 6 grape or cherry tomatoes halved, for serving
  • 1 pound halibut
  • 1-3 serrano peppers trimmed and halved
  • 1 pound mixed tomatoes such as heirloom, cherry, Campari, and beefsteak
  • 1 head of garlic cloves peeled and lightly crushed
  • 1 small shallot peeled and halved
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Greens for serving like watercress or microgreens


Prepare the Tomatoes for Serving:

  • Arrange the sliced serving tomatoes and halved cherry tomatoes on a plate. Sprinkle the salt and transfer to the refrigerator.

Prepare the Tomato Oil:

  • In a wide, deep skillet, add the Serrano peppers, mixed tomatoes, garlic, shallot, and bay leaves. Pour in the 1 cup olive oil. Heat over medium high until very hot. Reduce heat to medium low and cook on a very low bubbling simmer for at least 30 minutes. Stir regularly to keep the vegetables from sticking. The tomatoes may break apart and that’s okay!
  • After the oil has cooked, remove the bay leaves and discard. Strain the oil through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl to separate the solids from the oil. Transfer the oil to a glass container with a lid. Set aside.
  • Transfer the solids to a food processor and season the oil to taste with a touch of salt. Purée the solids until mostly smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl.

Prepare the Fish:

  • Carefully wipe out the skillet you used to make the oil and heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high until very hot. Pat the halibut dry and season all over with salt and pepper.
  • Add the fish (skin-side down if you’re using skin-on filets) and cook for 4-5 minutes or until very browned. Flip and cook an additional 4 minutes or until the fish flakes easily and is well browned. Turn off the heat.

To Serve:

  • Add a two spoonfuls of the tomato oil to the bottom of shallow bowls. Arrange two slices of fresh tomato and a few grape tomato halves in the oil. Gently place a fish filet on top and spoon a tablespoon of the purée on top of the fish with a few microgreens arranged around the fish. Serve at the table with additional purée and tomato oil. Enjoy!


Calories: 679kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 63g | Sodium: 90mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin C: 30mg
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