Pan-Seared Halibut with Tomato Vinaigrette

Chef Way Alaskan halibut is the star of this dish, served with labor-intensive lobster dumplings and topped with a warm tomato-water vinaigrette. To make the tomato water, a clear and intensely flavorful liquid, Shawn McClain blends heirloom tomatoes with sea salt, then strains the mixture through a cheesecloth.

Easy Way We use local halibut from the fishmonger and omit the lobster dumplings. Instead of making tomato water, we coarsely chop heirloom tomatoes for a fresh, chunky tomato vinaigrette.


Slideshow:  More Recipes From Shawn McClain


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
KEY: Fall, Summer, Chef Recipes Made Easy, Fast, Healthy, Dinner

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  • 1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped and juices reserved
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Four 6-ounce skinless halibut fillets
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes and their juices with the shallots, garlic, vinegar, chives, parsley, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the ground fennel. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of ground fennel with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sprinkle the mixture all over the fish. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the halibut and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Flip the fillets and add the butter to the skillet; spoon the butter over the fillets as they cook, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the halibut to plates, spoon the tomato vinaigrette on top and serve.


One Serving 348 Calories, 18 gm Total Fat, 3.4 gm Saturated Fat, 9 gm Carbohydrates, 2 gm Fiber.

Suggested Pairing

Lively, berry-flavored rosé.

Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published August 2006

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Ludo Lefebvre’s Ultimate Sole Meunière

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