Pan Seared Halibut with Lentils and Salsa Verde

Serving Pan Seared Halibut with Lentils and Salsa Verde recipe by The Taste SF
We were flipping through one of our favorite cookbooks last weekend looking for inspiration for the week and came across a recipe for cod with braised lentils. We had pretty much everything on hand except a piece of fish, so we ordered a filet of halibut and made pan seared halibut with lentils and salsa verde.

Pan Seared Halibut with Lentils and Salsa Verde is a take on a Venetian dish inspired by Polpo
According to our weekly emails from Water2Table, it’s been a good halibut season in San Francisco. The halibut we got came from independent fishermen that mostly go out on weekends on small boats with 4-6 lines. Water2Table anticipates a good supply of local halibut through October.

Scooping lentils from the Pan Seared Halibut with Lentils and Salsa Verde recipe
This dinner came together really quickly. We finely diced some onion, celery, and carrot, and sautéed it until it was very soft in our large skillet. At the same time, we simmered the lentils in a large saucepan and made the salsa verde, using our favorite salsa verde recipe from Maria Sinskey. When the lentils were cooked through, we added them to the vegetables and quickly pan seared the halibut filet in a nonstick skillet and served everything on this platter. We also found other fun serving platters that we love here, here, and here.

Pan Seared Halibut with Lentils and Salsa Verde
We paired this with a chardonnay from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. It turned out to be a great weeknight dinner! Now that you’ve read the entire post, we’ll disclose the actual recipe that inspired this dish was for cod cheeks with braised lentils and salsa verde. We didn’t want to scare anyone away up front. We haven’t had cod cheeks, but we imagine they are amazing like these salmon collars from Rintaro.

Pan Seared Halibut with Lentils and Salsa Verde
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Ingredients
  • 16 oz bag of lentils
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 3 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 recipe Maria Sinskey salsa verde
  • 1 - 1 ½ pounds filet of halibut (or other fish of your choosing)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Put the lentils in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 1”. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 - 25 minutes. Check for doneness after about 20 minutes and simmer for additional time as needed, checking periodically until the lentils are just done.
  2. While the lentils are simmering, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan and add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Reduce the heat as necessary to keep the garlic from scorching, and continue to cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are very soft. When the lentils are cooked through, drain in a mesh strainer and rinse under cool water, then add to the vegetable mixture and season with salt and pepper.
  3. To serve, cut the halibut filet into individual portions and season with salt and pepper. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a nonstick pan. When the pan is hot, sear the halibut on both sides until just cooked through, about 3 - 4 minutes per side. The fish should release from the pan when it’s ready to flip. Be careful not to overcook.
  4. Arrange the fish on top of the lentils on a large serving platter and serve with salsa verde.

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