This halibut served with pea-basil smashed potatoes and fried leeks is like a restaurant-style meal, but easy enough to make at home. Lots of great flavors, fresh & delicious.
I mentioned when I shared my sea bass with salsa verde that we are lucky to have access to some great fish, and while my son is on a salmon fix at the moment, we often vary what we have ourselves to take advantage of the range we can get. I have become quite a fan of halibut recently. It’s a tasty white fish which is a little like bass or bream in taste but a more ‘solid’ flesh. It could potentially be used with stronger flavors, but to me it’s worth enjoying the flavor of such a nice fish with something less bold but still tasty. Here I have paired it with pea-basil smashed potatoes and fried leeks and the flavors are fresh, tasty and really complimentary.
How it’s made
I’m afraid I have been a little vague on how long and quite how to cook the fish, as I think it depends a bit on how thick the piece of fish is that you have, whether you have it as a steak across the bone, as I did, or fillets. I would say it is probably easier to get it to cook more evenly in the oven if it is thicker and on the bone, while a thinner piece will pan-fry fairly quickly. Just do what you find easiest or prefer and keep an eye on it as you want it cooked through, but not overcooked. I prefer to cook the fish on the bone then take the chunks off to serve, making it easier to eat (and it’s easier to take cooked fish off the bone than raw).
The sides, though, are really quick and easy. The fresh basil and slight sweetness from the leeks and peas are really tasty and work so well with the delicate flavor of the fish. I’m afraid I didn’t manage to take that many photos as I was making them, but as you’ll see from the description below, there really isn’t that much to them so there’s not much to show or say. The only thing I would say is the potatoes with the basil and pee puree are so tasty and would go well with other dishes as well, although they are particularly good with fish.
It’s the sort of meal you can imagine having in a posh restaurant, but after you’ve made it, you’ll wonder why you would pay someone else to serve it up. It really doesn’t take long to make, doesn’t have too many ingredients at all but still looks and tastes so good. Aren’t they some of the best kind of meals? Let’s hope my friends at Fiesta Friday and FoodieFriDIY agree.
Halibut with pea-basil smashed potatoes and fried leeks
- 1/2 cup peas 55g
- 1 tbsp basil chopped
- 4 tsp olive oil divided
- 5 oz potatoes 140g
- 1 leek large
- 2 halibut fillets or 1, if large, depending on size
- If fresh, cook the peas in boiling water for a minute or two. If frozen, pour boiling water over them in a bowl, leave to sit a few minutes then drain.
- Puree together peas, basil and 2tsp oil.
- Boil the potatoes until tender, around 10min.
- Meanwhile cook the fish as you prefer - it can be cooked in the oven (good in a foil 'pocket'), under the grill/broiled or pan-fried until cooked through - it will no longer be transluscent (in oven, this is around 20mins at 375F/190C depending on thickness of fish).
- Heat a little oil and/or butter in a small skillet/frying pan over a medium heat.
- Slice the leek and add to the pan. Cook, stirring regularly, for around 5-10minutes until soft and browning. You may need to turn down the heat if they brown before they soften.
- Drain the potatoes, crush them with a potato masher but leave fairly big chunks. Stir in the pea mixture and the rest of the oil.
- Serve the fish over the potatoes with the leeks on top.
Try these other tasty seafood mains:
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