Juneau has many shortcomings when it comes to food and groceries. We don’t have many good restaurants. There are limited grocery choices, meat is very expensive, and good fresh produce is hard to come by.
Juneau’s culinary wealth lies in the sea – there is an abundance of fresh, locally-caught seafood. Before I moved to Alaska, I didn’t eat seafood because it all tasted fishy to me. Turns out I’d just never tried good, fresh seafood. Not only is fresh seafood delicious, it’s a great source of protein and omega-3’s. Now I cook regularly with big, juicy prawns, rich and flavorful salmon, and meaty halibut.
This recipe combines omega-rich halibut with heart-healthy walnuts – and doesn’t it look delicious! Halibut is a great fish to cook with because it not only tastes great but has a nice meaty texture that holds up well to cooking (unlike other varieties of fish that fall apart). For this dish, halibut is coated with chopped walnuts and cooked to get a nice, crunchy crust. Then the halibut is seasoned with a basil-balsamic drizzle to give it a nice punch of flavor. It’s quick, easy, and mouth-watering! I always feel fancy when I eat this dish even though it takes so little work to make.
Whenever you’re eating seafood, it’s important to be a responsible consumer. Make sure you know what you’re eating and where it’s from. There are a lot of resources out there to help you choose sustainable seafood, but my favorite is Seafood Watch from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They have pocket guides that you can print and keep in your wallet, and they have a smartphone app. Check them out!
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
12 oz. Halibut Fillet ~1 in. thick, divided into 2 pieces
1/2 c. Walnuts, chopped
2 tbsp. Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Pepper
1/8 tsp. Garlic Powder
Basil Balsamic Drizzle
1 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. finely-chopped Fresh Basil
1 tbsp. Lime Juice
Salt, to taste
1. Combine walnuts, flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a pan.
2. Beat the egg and put it in another dish.
3. Dredge the halibut pieces in the egg then the walnut mixture, pressing down to ensure the pieces are well-coated.
4. Heat a shallow layer of canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, cook the halibut pieces, one at a time. Cook each piece for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. The walnut crust should be nice and golden.
5. Transfer the halibut pieces to a baking pan and bake at 400° F for 10 minutes. If you have thicker pieces (more than 1 in.), it may up to 15 minutes to cook through.
6. While the halibut is cooking, stir together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil, lime juice, and a generous pinch of salt to make the basil balsamic drizzle.
7. Plate the halibut immediately out the oven (you don’t want it to get cold!) and drizzle generously with the basil balsamic mixture. And I do mean generously. This drizzle is delicious and full of flavor, so you’re going to want plenty on your fish. To make it a meal, serve with a green vegetable side.
Voilà… Now you have a dish that tastes great and that you can feel good about eating. Healthy food can be yummy too!