Saffron Brined Halibut with Salsa Verde

by Patricia Eddy on April 18, 2012

Saffron Brined Halibut with Salsa Verde

Wow. Just when we’re getting used to a new schedule with the Mr. cooking a lot more, things change and now I’m back to cooking – at least once or twice a week. By virtue of being insanely busy these days, we’re focusing on meals that are simple to prepare, take a minimun of time, and of course, are delicious. Tonight’s dinner was pretty darn close to perfect for all of those requirements. You do need to brine the halibut, which requires that you be home about 3 hours before dinner’s ready, but you’re only working for about 10 minutes total during that time. For us, this was the perfect dish to prepare right before yoga and then eat right after.

Saffron Brined Halibut with Salsa Verde from

  • 1 pound halibut steak, cut into two pieces
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cracked white pepper
  • A large pinch of saffron, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup parsley or spinach, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil plus more for sauteing the fish
  1. To prepare the brine, mix the water, bay leaves, pepper, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the salt.
  3. Remove from heat and add the saffron.
  4. Let the brine cool, covered, for at least an hour and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Note: This can be done up to 24 hours ahead.
  5. Two hours before dinner, add the halibut to the cool brine.
  6. After the two hours, remove the halibut and pat dry.
  7. To make the salsa verde, add the green onions, lemon juice, capers, mustard, parsley or spinach, and a pinch of salt to a food processor.
  8. Add at least 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and process until uniform. Depending on taste preference, you can add up to 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. I used 2 Tbsp total.
  9. Heat a saute pan large enough for all of the halibut over medium high heat and add 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil.
  10. Cook the fish for at least 3-5 minutes per side to get a nice crust on the fish. Flip and continue to cook until done. This will depend on the thickness of your halibut, but my pieces took about 10 minutes total.
  11. Serve the fish atop the salsa verde.

Notes: Do not brine the fish for more than about 3 hours or it will be too salty. You can make the brine and the salsa verde up to one day in advance.

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