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Baked Halibut with Herb Butter: A Simple and Elegant Seafood Dish

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Baked halibut with herb butter is a delightful dish that celebrates the delicate flavor and firm texture of halibut, enhanced by a rich and aromatic herb butter. This recipe is perfect for those looking to enjoy a healthy and flavorful seafood meal that is both easy to prepare and impressive to serve. In this article, we’ll explore the appeal of baked halibut, discuss essential ingredients and techniques for preparing it, and provide a step-by-step recipe to create this delicious dish at home.

The Appeal of Baked Halibut with Herb Butter

Halibut is prized for its mild, sweet flavor and firm, flaky texture, making it a favorite among seafood lovers. Baking halibut allows it to cook gently, preserving its natural juices and enhancing its delicate taste. The addition of herb butter infuses the fish with a medley of fresh herbs, garlic, and lemon, creating a savory and aromatic complement to the halibut’s subtle flavors. This dish is perfect for a special dinner at home or as a centerpiece for entertaining guests.

Ingredients for Baked Halibut with Herb Butter

To prepare baked halibut with herb butter, gather the following ingredients:

For the Halibut:

  • 4 halibut fillets (about 6 ounces each), skin removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, for drizzling

For the Herb Butter:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For Serving:

  • Lemon wedges
  • Fresh herbs, chopped (optional)

Preparation Steps

1. Preparing the Halibut:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking dish with parchment paper or lightly grease it with olive oil.
  • Pat the halibut fillets dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Season both sides of the halibut fillets generously with salt and pepper.
  • Place the halibut fillets in the prepared baking dish, leaving a little space between each fillet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.

2. Making the Herb Butter:

  • In a small bowl, combine softened butter, minced garlic, chopped parsley, chives, dill, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix until well combined.

3. Baking the Halibut:

  • Spoon a generous amount of herb butter over each halibut fillet, spreading it evenly to coat the fish.
  • Bake the halibut in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. The internal temperature of the halibut should reach 145°F (63°C) for doneness.

4. Serving Baked Halibut with Herb Butter:

  • Remove the baking dish from the oven and let the halibut rest for a few minutes.
  • Serve the baked halibut fillets hot, garnished with lemon wedges and additional chopped herbs if desired.

Tips for Cooking and Serving

  • Choosing Halibut: Select fresh halibut fillets that are firm and have a mild aroma of the sea. Look for fillets that are uniformly thick for even cooking.
  • Herb Butter Variations: Customize your herb butter by adding other herbs such as tarragon, basil, or cilantro, depending on your preference. You can also add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a hint of spice.
  • Side Dish Suggestions: Serve baked halibut with herb butter alongside roasted vegetables, steamed asparagus, or a light salad dressed with vinaigrette for a balanced meal.

Wine Pairing

Baked halibut with herb butter pairs beautifully with a crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. The wine’s acidity and citrus notes complement the flavors of the herb butter and enhance the delicate taste of the halibut.

Conclusion

Baked halibut with herb butter is a sophisticated yet straightforward dish that highlights the natural flavors of halibut while adding a burst of freshness from the herb-infused butter. By following this recipe and mastering the art of baking halibut, you can create a restaurant-quality meal in the comfort of your own kitchen. Share this elegant seafood dish with family and friends, savoring its delicate flavors and aromatic appeal as a memorable addition to any dining occasion.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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