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Seared Alaska Halibut with Pistachio Pesto Recipe

Seared Halibut Pasta with Pistachio Pesto. Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood and Alaska from Scratch.

Ingredients

For the roasted tomatoes:
2 cups small yellow and red tomatoes, such as grape and cherry, sliced in half
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
 
For the pistachio pesto:
1 cup shelled roasted pistachios
1 cup basil  leaves
1⁄4 cup cilantro
2 cloves garlic
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt

16 ounces angel-hair pasta
1 tablespoon avocado oil
4 Alaska Gold Halibut portions (8 ounces each)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. To make the roasted tomatoes: Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the tomatoes on the pan. Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until softened and blistered.

2. To make the pistachio pesto: Mean- while, in a food processor, combine the pistachios, basil, cilantro, garlic, lemon zest, cheese, and 1⁄4 cup of the olive oil. Process on medium speed, drizzling in more olive oil as needed to reach the desired consistency. The pesto should be slightly thinner than a paste, but not runny. Season with kosher salt to taste.

3. Prepare the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain lightly, reserving about 1⁄4 cup of the pasta water. Return the angel hair to the pot with the pasta water. Stir in the pesto until coated.

4. In a cast-iron skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Pat the halibut fillets dry and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Sear them until browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes (see note). Gently turn them with a metal fish spatula and cook for 60 to 90 seconds, or until cooked to medium-rare to medium in the center, being careful not to overcook, or they will become dry.

5. To plate the pasta: Divide the pes- to-coated angel hair among 4 pasta bowls. Top each bowl of pasta with a halibut fillet. Distribute the roasted tomatoes evenly among the 4 bowls. Serve promptly with freshly grated Parmesan.

Note: Searing time will vary depending on the thickness of your fillets. If your fillets are quite thick, the cast-iron skillet can be transferred to a 350°F oven to finish cooking. But again, be very careful not to overcook and dry out the halibut.

Recipe courtesy of Alaska Seafood originally from
 Alaska from Scratch by Maya Wilson. Copyright ©2018 by Maya Wilson.

See how it’s done below.