Oil-Poached Halibut and Avocado Salad

Oil-Poached Halibut and Avocado Salad

This salad uses oil-poached halibut, but any firm, meaty fish will do. In addition to spooning the salad into avocado halves you can also use it as a sandwich filling or a topping for crostini.

Oil-Poached Halibut and Avocado Salad 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Adapted from Nan McEvoyPublished
Oil-Poached Halibut and Avocado Salad


  • ¼ cup kosher salt (plus more for seasoning)
  • 2 cup water
  • 4 cup ice cubes
  • 1 pound halibut fillets
  • extra-virgin olive oil (as needed for poaching)
  • 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 anchovy fillets (minced)
  • 2 tablespoon capers (drained and chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (divided)
  • 1 celery rib (thinly sliced crosswise)
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • ¼ cup pitted and chopped oil-cured black olives
  • 2 avocados (halved and pitted
  • 1 cup sprouts or micro greens (for garnish)


Combine kosher salt and water in a large mixing bowl and stir to dissolve the salt; add ice. Place the fillets in the brine and set aside for 1 hour. Remove the fish from the brine, rinse and dry it thoroughly with paper towels. Lay fish on parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate unwrapped about 1 hour. Bring the fish to room temperature before continuing.

In a medium, straight-sided saucepan set over low heat, combine enough olive oil to cover the fish with the mustard seeds and peppercorns. Heat oil to 120 degrees F. Place halibut in oil and poach for 25 minutes. Monitor the temperature to assure a consistent 125 degrees F. throughout the cooking. Once cooked remove the fish from the oil. Cool and drain the fish on a rack set over a tray. Cool, strain and reserve the oil for poaching more seafood.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, blend the mayonnaise, minced anchovies, capers, garlic and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Stir in celery, onion and olives. Using a fork, break halibut into bite-sized pieces, then gently fold into the mayonnaise mixture. Season with salt.

Set an avocado half on each of 4 plates, skin side down. Drizzle or brush the avocado flesh with remaining 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Spoon 1 cup of the halibut salad into the center of each avocado half. Top the with sprouts or micro-greens and serve.