Halibut with Grapefruit, Parsley and Fennel

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Halibut, which grows very large, is a great fish to cook because it’s firm and stays nice and juicy when panfried or roasted. Fennel is a natural choice for fish and when paired with citrus, gets even better.


  • 4 pink or Ruby grapefruits
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 fennel bulb 
  • 4 halibut fillets, each 1/2 lb., skin and pin bones removed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling


Peel and segment the grapefruits, letting the segments and any juices fall into a bowl. Add the parsley and stir gently.

Trim the fennel, peeling away any woody, fibrous outer layers and reserving the fronds. Using a mandoline, cut the fennel bulb into paper-thin slices. Add the fennel slices and fronds to the bowl with the grapefruit-parsley mixture.

Season the halibut fillets with salt and pepper. In a heavy fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the halibut and cook until browned underneath, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the halibut over and cook until opaque around the edges, about 3 minutes more.

Transfer the halibut to individual plates. Spoon the grapefruit-fennel mixture on top and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Variations: You can replace the fennel with shredded jicama, which is fresh tasting, crunchy, and a nice match for the citrus zing. You can serve this dish in different ways: form a bed of the salad on the dinner plate and place the fish on top, or finely dice the salad and serve it as a salsa topping. This fish is also delicious with a polenta.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends, by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm (Oxmoor House, 2008).

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