Herb and Pistachio Crusted Halibut with Green Herb Sauce

Lovica Callisti
Lovica Callisti
November 27, 2023
Sous vide is a perfect way to prepare halibut, as it ensures soft, delicate texture without the risk of overcooking. This two-stage cook uses a high-temp broil step post-sous vide to create a crispy crust that adds texture and elegance to the dish. The bold herb and citrus flavors in the crust complement the halibut’s mild flavor, and the pistachios add a welcome nuttiness and texture. Plate the fish with a green herb sauce for an additional pop of flavor and color. This dish feels fancy enough to serve for a holiday meal, but simple enough to make for a weekday dinner. Notes: Excess green herb sauce may be stored for a week in the fridge or longer in the freezer, but it does lose its vibrant color over time. I recommend using tender, young thyme in this recipe. Older thyme is woodier and has a more intense flavor. This recipe is written for fish fillets measuring 1- to 1 ½ inches thick. If the fillets are thin and have more surface area, you might need to add a bit of extra butter and nuts to the crust to ensure full coverage.
Serves
4
Prep Time
00:20
Cook Time
00:55
Herb and Pistachio Crusted Halibut with Green Herb Sauce
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255
Ingredients
For the Halibut
½ cup
raw shelled pistachios, finely chopped
Zest of 2 lemons (reserve the lemons for the sauce)
2 Tbsp
finely chopped fresh chives
2 tsp
finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp
kosher salt, divided
4 Tbsp
cold, unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
2 (1- to 1 ½-inch thick)
halibut fillets (7 to 8 ounces each), halved lengthwise
Green Herb Sauce
1 to 1 ½ cups
spinach or arugula, any tough stems removed
1 cup or ½ bunch
fresh parsley
1 cup
mild-flavored extra-virgin olive oil
1
scallion, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 small clove
garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp
fresh lemon juice
1 tsp
kosher salt
Steps

1. Preheat the Oven

Rack
Sous Vide Mode: On
Steam: 50%
Temp: 135°F
Heat: Rear

2. Make the Crust Mixture

In a medium bowl, combine the pistachios, lemon zest, chives, thyme, and two pinches of the salt. Stir well to combine. Add the butter pieces and stir with a fork, pastry cutter, or your fingers until the butter is evenly incorporated with the nuts and herbs. Fold two pieces of wax or parchment paper into envelopes measuring about the same size as the halibut fillets: first fold in half, then fold in the sides. Open the envelopes and add half of the butter mixture to each envelope. Cover and seal the butter.

3. Roll the Crust Mixture

Using a rolling pin, roll the butter mixture inside each envelope to create even rectangles approximately the width and length of the fish fillets. Freeze for 5 minutes to firm up.
Roll the Crust Mixture

4. Cook Sous Vide

Rack
Season the fish with the remaining salt, then place on a sheet pan, with each fillet half right up next to the other. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the largest fillet. Unwrap the chilled butter crusts and place on top of the fillets so that each crust covers two servings. Transfer to the oven, attach the probe, and cook until the probe reaches its target temperature, 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Remove the fish as soon as the target temperature is reached.
Cook Sous Vide
Sous Vide Mode: On
Steam: 50%
Temp: 135°F
Heat: Rear
128°F Probe Target

5. Make the Sauce

While the fish cooks sous vide, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth, then taste and adjust seasoning if desired.

6. Adjust the Oven for Crisping

Rack
After you remove the fish, adjust the settings for browning and crisping the crust.
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: Off
Temp: 482°F
Heat: Top

7. Crisp the Crust

Rack
Once the oven is fully heated, return the fish and cook just until the crust is crisp and browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
Crisp the Crust
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: Off
Temp: 482°F
Heat: Top
00:02 Timer

8. Serve

Spread sauce on a serving platter or serving plates, top with the fish, and serve immediately, with additional sauce on the side.
Serve
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