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Add zing to white fish with chimichurri sauce

By Anjali Prasertong
TheKitchn.com

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  • Baked Halibut With Chimichurri

    3 cloves garlic

    1 small shallot

    1 cup parsley

    1/4 cup cilantro

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

    2 tablespoons water

    1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

    1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning fish

    1 1/2 pounds halibut, cut into 4 portions

    COMBINE garlic, shallot, parsley, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar, water, pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small food processor and blend until smooth. (Alternatively, finely chop the garlic, shallot and herbs by hand. Mix with the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.) Let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes, or cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.

    PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees. Lightly season the fish with a little salt. Rub all sides of each piece of fish with about 1 tablespoon of the chimichurri and place in a baking dish. Reserve the remaining sauce for serving.

    BAKE for 12-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish, or until fish is firm and almost opaque all the way through. Serve with a little of the reserved chimichurri sauce spooned over each piece.

    NOTE: If you can’t find halibut, substitute another mild, lean white fish such as cod. Adjust the cooking time based on the thickness of the fish.

    YIELD: 4 servings.



Though you might usually associate chimichurri with grilled steaks, lamb chops and other robust cuts of meat, this garlicky South American herb sauce pairs wonderfully with mild halibut and other lean white fish.

Rubbed over fillets before baking, the flavor of chimichurri stays fresh and bright, infusing the delicate fish with a pop of green color and the taste of fresh herbs. It’s a simple yet impressive fish recipe to add to your repertoire.

This recipe was born out of boredom. I was cooking for clients who requested fish several times a week and, after pondering what seemed like the millionth piece of seared halibut in some kind of sauce, I decided to rub the fish in the beautiful chimichurri sauce a co-worker had just mixed up and bake it instead. The resulting fish was lovely.

I’ve adapted the chimichurri recipe, keeping the cilantro because I love it and toning down the garlic, which can overpower mild fish. The sauce comes together quickly in a small food processor, although you can chop it up by hand if needed. It can be made up to one day ahead. Its robust flavor seasons the fish as it cooks, and a final dollop before serving adds a bit of zing.

This is a beautiful and quick main dish for entertaining or a weeknight meal.

If you are keeping an eye on seafood sustainability, wild-caught Alaskan halibut is rated a “Best Choice” by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. Serve it with roasted, smashed potatoes and a crunchy salad for a fresh and satisfying meal.

Anjali Prasertong is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a national website for food and home cooking.
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