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Pan Seared Cumin Halibut with Cavolo Nero and a Sweet Red Pepper Sauce

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Cumin halibut is simply delicious


Cumin halibut with a roasted pepper sauce

Cumin halibut with a roasted pepper sauce

This halibut dish is first marinated and then seared. The cavolo nero with its grainy mustard and spicy green chilis gives the dish a mildly hot taste, while the sauce made from sweet bell peppers provides a balancing sweetness and an eye-catching colour contrast.

I love halibut marinated in this way. Halibut is a meaty fish that can take the intense flavours in the marinade.

I used cooked black beans here just because I like them a lot and they are good for you. Black beans are rarely found in Indian dishes though they work very nicely here. Make a big pot of them and use the leftovers as a soup or even as a filling for fresh chapaties.

Serves 4


4 Halibut fillets – about 200g each

100ml Extra virgin olive oil
Zest of one lemon
4 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon crushed black pepper
1 Tablespoon pan roasted cumin seeds
Juice of 1 lemon
1 small bunch coriander leaves

2 heads cavolo nero – roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon grainy mustard
3 fresh green chilli peppers
4 Tablespoons cooked black beans (optional)

for the red pepper sauce

1/2 white onion – chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic
2 red bell peppers
1 Tablespoon good quality aged balsamic venegar
3 Tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste



This is a long halibut recipe but nothing is very difficult.



First make you marinade

Combine the all but two tablespoon of the olive oil, the lemon zest, garlic, black pepper, roasted cumin seeds, lemon juice and coriander in a pestle and mortar. Pound to a paste.

Now rub the marinade paste into the flesh of the halibut and let sit covered in the fridge for one to five hours. The longer the better.

With the fish happily marinating away, you can now make the red pepper sauce.

For best results, you will want to roast your bell peppers either over a gas burner or under the grill. Blacken them all over and then place in a plastic bag for about five minutes.

After five minutes, remove the bell peppers and scrape of the loose skin with a knife. Cut them open and remove the seeds.

Set aside and then heat the two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and lightly fry the onion and garlic. You want the onion to be translucent and soft. Be careful not to burn the garlic.

Now place all of the sauce ingredients except for the butter and salt and pepper in a blender and blend for two minutes until the sauce has a smooth and creamy texture.

Place in a small pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the butter one tablespoon at a time while stirring continuously.

Add salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.

When you are ready to cook the fish, add the remaining olive oil to a wok or large frying pan over high heat.

Add the green chilis and then the cavolo nere and allow to fry until the cavolo nero is just cooked through but not wilted.

Add the grainy mustard and stir to combine for a further 30 seconds.

Set aside and keep warm.

Now using a large frying pan, heat the two tablespoons of oil over high heat.

Add the halibut fillets and sear on one side for about four minutes. Turn over and fry until cooked through. This will take a further two to three minutes.

To Serve

Divide the cavero nero onto four warmed plates.

Carefully set a piece of halibut on each cavero nero bed and drizzle with the red pepper sauce.

Sprinkle with the cooked black beans if using.

I hope you enjoy this dish. Cumin halibut is one of my wife’s favourites!

working london mummy

Tuesday 15th of November 2011

Wow what a lovely idea. I love halibut, one of my favourite fish.

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 16th of November 2011

Hi and thanks for stopping by. I hope you get a chance to try this halibut recipe. I really like halibut too.

Reluctant Housedad

Thursday 10th of November 2011

Superb, but I would expect nothing less. Tragically allergic to fish, but the wife would like it. Thanks for your keema recipe earlier. The pork puffs (rather large puffs, it has to be said) went down a treat. Next week's Recipe Shed, Dan...ROASTS. I KNOW you won't let me down.

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