Recipes Main Courses Seafood Braised Halibut with Summer Vegetables and Orzo

Braised Halibut with Summer Vegetables and Orzo

This beautiful, simply seasoned dish is best made the evening after you visit a farmers’ market. Choose the ripest, juiciest tomatoes for the most flavorful results. To remove fresh corn kernels from the cob, stand the cob upright in a large, shallow bowl and hold it firmly. Starting at the top, use a sharp knife to shear off the kernels close to the cob. Alternatively, use a kernel cutter.


  • 2 lb. heirloom tomatoes 
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar 
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste 
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1/2 lb. orzo 
  • 1 1/4 lb. halibut fillet  
  • 1/2 lb. zucchini 
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels 
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped  


Core the tomatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks, reserving as much of the juices as possible. Put the tomatoes and their juices in a bowl and stir in the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, the 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grindings of pepper. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.

Remove any skin from the halibut fillet and cut into 4 portions. Halve the zucchini lengthwise and cut into half moons 1/8 inch thick.

In a large, deep fry pan over medium-high heat, combine the tomato mixture, its accumulated juices and the water and bring to a boil. Add the fish and zucchini. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the corn, cover and cook until the fish is opaque but still moist in the center, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the orzo and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the basil and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).