Recipes Main Courses Seafood Halibut with Tomatoes, Olives and Marjoram

Halibut with Tomatoes, Olives and Marjoram

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2

Enhanced with salty olives and fragrant marjoram and set against creamy polenta, this brightly flavored fish stew offers a wonderful contrast of tastes and colors. End the meal with grapes and newly harvested walnuts, served in their shells.


  • 2 tsp. olive oil  
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1 large shallot, minced 
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine 
  • 1 can (14.28 oz.) Italian tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, with juices 
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes 
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
  • 3/4 lb. halibut, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces 
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise 
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. chopped fresh marjoram, or 1 tsp. dried, crumbled 
  • Cooked polenta or rice for serving  


In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and shallot and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the red pepper flakes. Season with salt and black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

Season the fish with salt and black pepper. Add the fish to the pan and turn to coat it with the sauce. Cover the pan and simmer until the fish is almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Turn the fish pieces over, add the olives and marjoram and simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and black pepper.

Spoon the polenta onto warmed plates and spoon the fish and sauce over the top. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

Quick Tips: This quick one-dish stew, which can be easily doubled for a crowd, is equally satisfying served over rice if you have it on hand in the pantry. Or, in the summer, you could replace the polenta with grilled crusty bread, which is great for soaking up the sauce. If your fishmonger does not have halibut, mahimahi would also be good in this dish.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast, by Kristine Kidd (Williams-Sonoma, 2011).