This simple one-pot recipe comes together in minutes and is so much greater than the sum of its very few parts. The simmering wine wilts the spinach which steams the fish which is bathed in a fragrant scallion butter. It takes more time to describe it than it does to prepare. Top it all off with buttery pistachios and serve with crusty bread to soak up all the luscious pan juices.
- 1 portion halibut (10 to 12 ounces), cut into 2 pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion, white and green parts
- ¼ cup dry white wine or chicken broth
- 2 cups (tightly packed) baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons chopped roasted, salted pistachios
- Crusty bread and lemon wedges for serving
PREP THE FISH
Pat the halibut dry and season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the butter and scallion and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
COOK THE SPINACH AND FISH
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, bring the wine to a simmer. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper, and toss just to combine. Add the halibut to the skillet and top with the scallion butter, dividing it evenly between both pieces. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the fish flakes easily around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet.
FINISH AND SERVE
Use a spatula to transfer the fish and spinach to shallow bowls. Spoon the pan juices over the top, then garnish with the pistachios. Serve right away, with crusty bread and lemon wedges alongside.
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Pair it Up
A white wine with a touch of acidity and minerality will echo the iron-rich spinach and balance the creaminess of the butter. Look for pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, or albariño.
Level it Up
Add a pinch of chile flakes or chopped fresh chiles to the scallion butter for a bit of heat. For a Japanese flair, add a pinch of minced fresh ginger to the butter, then garnish with chopped wasabi almonds or toasted sesame seeds.
Change it Up
Top your favorite flatbread with leftover halibut and spinach, pop it in a hot oven for a few minutes, then garnish with a drizzle of sour cream or crème frâiche.
Lighten it Up
For less saturated fat, drizzle the fish with heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil and chopped scallions instead of the butter.
Know Your Cook
Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.
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