This mustard-brushed halibut recipe features springtime peas (fresh or frozen) in a mash of what I’d more properly what call a pea puree. It’s not much more than lightly seasoned smashed peas blended with a little half-and-half. However, it’s a simple combination they really absorbs the surrounding flavors very well. It also adds a beautiful color and texture to your plate.
I typically brine halibut for about 1 hour the day before cooking in a 5% brine solution. Which works out to be about ¼ cup easily dissolvable sea salt to about 6 generous cups of very icy water. Rinse and dry the fish very well before following this recipe.
- 6 (6 oz) halibut filets (about 2 ¼ pounds total)
- 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ¼ cup minced fresh shallots
- 1 pound fresh, shelled or frozen, thawed peas
- 1 cup water
- salt and pepper (as needed)
- ½ cup half-and-half (plus more if needed)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- pickled mustard seeds (optional, see recipe)
Lightly brush halibuts fillets evenly with mustard on both sides and let marinate uncovered in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove the fish from the refrigerator about ½ hour before you want to cook it.
Meanwhile, heat butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add shallots; cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add peas, 1 cup water, and a big pinch each salt and pepper. Cover partially with lid; cook until sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. Using a slotted spoon move a bit more than half of the peas to a blender leaving the liquid behind in the skillet. Add half-and-half to the blender of peas, and big pinch each salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Adjust consistency with a touch more half-and-half if necessary, but don’t let it get too soupy. Transfer the pea puree to a saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a 12″ or larger cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add halibut; cook, turning once, until golden brown (about 4 minutes total cooking or to an interior temperature of 117 degrees F). Remove from heat, season lightly with salt, and let rest 3 or 4 minutes.
To serve, divide pea puree among 6 dinner plates and top each with a halibut fillet; spoon over some of the whole peas and some of their sauce. Garnish with pickled mustard seeds (if using) and serve immediately.