Crusted Halibut Fillets with Arugula Pesto

Crusted Halibut Fillets with Arugula Pesto

The combination of walnuts, breadcrumbs and butter makes for a delicious and crispy topping. Try it with other meats including pork, beef or chicken.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, whole-wheat
  • 1/4 cup California walnuts, finely ground (pulsed in a food processor)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Arugula Pesto

  • 2 1/2 cups baby arugula, chopped, tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons California walnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, coarse
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil

Halibut

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 each, 4-ounce halibut fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

Crust

  1. Toast panko breadcrumbs and walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes; tossing often. They will become lightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add butter and salt then mix until well incorporated.
  2. Lay a large piece of parchment paper out on the counter and top with crust mixture. Cover with another large piece of parchment paper. Press down to flatten slightly then with a rolling pin; roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Place in freezer on a flat surface to set.

Arugula Pesto

  1. Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes; tossing often. They will become lightly toasted and fragrant
  2. In a food processor, combine arugula, Parmesan cheese, walnuts, garlic and kosher salt. Turn on and slowly add in extra-virgin olive oil and walnut oil until a paste forms, approximately 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator.

Halibut

  1. Preheat broiler on high.
  2. Remove crust from the freezer. Keep the parchment paper on and, using kitchen shears, cut 6 pieces into the same size as the halibut fillets.
  3. Working in 2 separate sauté pans, evenly heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Season halibut fillets with kosher salt. Once the oil is hot and smoking, add 3 halibut fillets per pan and sear for 5 minutes on one side, then flip and sear for 3 minutes longer on the other side. Working in 2 pans will allow the fillets to cook evenly and not be overcrowded in the pan.
  4. Remove one side of parchment paper from the crust and top each piece of halibut. Peel away the second side of parchment, repeating until all 6 are topped.
  5. Transfer the sauté pans under the broiler for approximately 2 minutes or until crust is golden brown and toasted.
  6. Spoon arugula pesto on the bottom of a large serving platter. Place crusted halibut on top and serve family style.