Recently I’ve received many requests for easy and simple recipes. And trust me, I get it. After a long day, no one wants to be in the kitchen slaving over pots and pans. Personally, I usually try to convince myself to order takeout but then I stop myself. I say no to takeout! I will cook something delicious, healthy and easy. But it has to be simple. So I came up with this recipe to solve that issue and for my friend who always want it to be easy.
There are many great things about Halibut with Sundried Tomato Pesto. First, you can make a big batch of the sundried tomato pesto and keep in your fridge so you can whip up quick dishes like this one. Second, the halibut cooks in a tight little package in the oven. No heating up pans, no oil, no flipping, no frying, no scrubbing dishes. Lastly, it cooks in less than 15 minutes. Easy.
You can find my amazing (if I do say so myself) sundried tomato pesto recipe in my recent post for Rotini with Sundried Tomato Pesto. I recommend doubling the recipe for the pesto so you can use it for the halibut and have some extra for other recipes. It’s great for stirring in pasta, spreading on crostini, topping a steak, mixing in scrambled eggs or simply eating with a spoon. I realize that if you don’t have this pesto ready-to-go in the refrigerator then it may not be the most super quick recipe ever. In that case you could (this really goes against my grain people) substitute it with store-bought sundried tomato pesto. (But pretty please make this sundried tomato pesto recipe one day…please!)
The Halibut with Sundried Tomato Pesto is a take on the classic French dish, fish en papillote. The technique involves taking a portion of fish with some vegetables and baking in a parchment paper pouch. The fish steams inside the parchment paper which keeps it moist and tender. I understand, if you don’t have parchment paper lying around this may seem like way too much work for a quick dinner. There is another way my friend. You can use aluminium foil…good ole Reynolds. You can reference my other oldie but goodie recipe from back-in-the-day Foil Baked Asian Cod. In this recipe, I bake cod in a foil pouch in the oven.
Going back to this recipe though, you will only need 4 ingredients. Sliced leeks, halibut, sundried tomato pesto and white wine (plus parchment paper). That’s it! First you will make a bed for the fish out of the sliced leeks. The halibut goes on top of the leeks and then the it gets spread with a nice thin, layer spread of the sundried tomato pesto. Lastly you drizzle the fish with two teaspoons of white wine. Wrap up your cute little parchment package and that’s it! Pop that baby in the oven and it usually bakes in 10-13 minutes. The result is a completely moist and flaky fish, slightly wilted leeks and an extremely flavorful pan sauce.
I have included this video from Bon Appetit that has great instructions on how to fold the parchment packets:
So there you have it. An actual easy recipe that you can whip together in less than 20 minutes and be digging in!
- 1 large leek, thinly sliced into round
- 1.5# halibut, cut into 4 filets
- 4 tbsp sundried tomato pesto
- 8 teaspoons dry white wine
- salt and pepper, to taste
- parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Start with a 14" piece of parchment paper.
- Fold the piece of parchment in half, vertically.
- Next, cut out a heart-shape out of the folded piece of parchment paper. (Please reference video from Bon Appetit)
- Arrange leeks on one side of the "heart" of the parchment paper. Season with salt and pepper.
- Next, place the filet on top of leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tbsp of the sundried tomato pesto on top of the filet.
- Then drizzle 2 teaspoons of dry white wine over the filet.
- Fold over the other side of the "heart" so it's covering the fish and start crimping the paper together at the top of the heart.
- Place parchment package on a sheet tray making sure there is at least 2 inches in between each package. You might have to use two sheet trays.
- Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of filet. The parchment paper should puff up and turn golden brown when done.