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Holiday Detox: Crispy Skinned Halibut with Spinach and Tomato Sauce

Posted by Michelle Zippelli  December 5, 2011 09:38 PM

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It's ridiculously difficult to eat healthy between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Usually after a long weekend of eating and drinking I go vegetarian for a few days to get back on track, but after Thanksgiving I'm five times hungrier than normal and greens just don't cut it. That's how I landed on halibut; it's healthy and has substance. I served it with a basic chunky tomato basil sauce, then I added spinach because it has about a million health benefits.

I got my halibut from Savenor's Market on Charles St. in Beacon Hill -- they have a great fish selection and gave me a 1/2 pound for free because they were about to close and wouldn't be able to sell the rest of the fish! Score. I made the halibut with crispy skin, but it's not necessary if you're not into fish skin. To get best results for the crispy skin, pat down the skin side of the raw fish with a paper towel before cooking removing all the moisture, otherwise it will get soggy in the pan.



  • 1/4 - 1/2 lb of Halibut (with or without skin)
  • Large can diced tomatoes
  • A few handfuls of spinach
  • Handful of chopped basil
  • One lemon (for zest and juice)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
  • Canola oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Directions:
    1 - Prep: turn on the broiler on high, pat the halibut skin so its dry, sprinkle some lemon juice over the fish
    2 - In a saucepan, heat some canola oil on medium high heat. When hot add in garlic and onions and saute for a few minutes until onions are translucent
    3 - Add tomatoes and lemon zest and some salt and pepper into pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer the sauce until the fish is ready
    4 - Heat canola oil in a sauté pan -- highest heat
    5 - When the canola oil begins to smoke, add the fish (skin side down) -- then immediately transfer the sauté pan into the oven (even plastic handles are fine, because time in the oven is so short). If the pan doesn't fit in the oven - just leave the oven door open, the broiler will do its thing regardless. The halibut will only take 3-6 minutes to cook, depending on the thickness of the fish, so keep an eye on it. Remove the fish from the oven when it is fork tender and sprinkle with some more lemon juice
    6 - Add the spinach, basil and the remaining lemon juice to the sauce. This way the spinach doesn't wilt too much before serving. Also add more salt and pepper if needed.
    7 - Serve the fish on a heaping spoonful of the sauce

    The whole process shouldn't take longer than 30 minutes! Week night holiday detox complete.


    This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
    The author is solely responsible for the content.

    About the authors

    Michelle Zippelli is a Boston based hedonist who is committed to finding the best food that Boston has to offer. She has lived in Boston for 6 years and works in online marketing. Michelle loves meatballs, live music, exotic cheeses, Mexican food, spur of the moment dance parties, and all things pickled.
    Jacki Morisi is a self-proclaimed bon vivant extraordinaire. A Boston native whose waking hours are exclusively focused on travel, music, food, and fare ... emphasis on food and fare. She's a firm believer that just because you're living on a young professional's budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste, and carries this mantra into each and every dining endeavor.
    Contact us:
    Jacki and Michelle also co-write the Boston-based food blog
    Email Jacki and Michelle:
    Follow Jacki on Twitter @jacki_mo and Michelle @Meeshz
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