Halibut with Nut Crust and Apple Vinaigrette

For this recipe, halibut fillets are crusted with a mixture of toasted ground hazelnuts, lemon zest, thyme, and mustard, then topped with an apple-infused vinaigrette.

Halibut takes on great flavor with this hazelnut crust, complemented by the crunch and tang of the apple vinaigrette. In spring, I’ll collect some pea vines from our garden to saute and serve alongside. If you’re not able to find halibut, other firm white fish, such as turbot or sea bass, can be used.–Renée Behnke with Cynthia Nims

Halibut with Nut Crust and Apple Vinaigrette

Halibut with Nut Crust, Apple Vinaigrette
For this recipe, halibut fillets are crusted with a mixture of toasted ground hazelnuts, lemon zest, thyme, and mustard, then topped with an apple-infused vinaigrette.
Renée Behnke with Cynthia Nims

Prep 25 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 45 mins
Entrees
American
6 servings
5 / 3 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Memorable Recipes cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Six (6-ounce) skinless halibut fillet pieces

For the apple vinaigrette

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large apple peeled, cored, and diced (Pink Lady, Fuji, or Gala)
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons hazelnut or pecan oil (or olive oil in a pinch)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed pink peppercorns
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the nut crust

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts or pecans
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions
 

Make the vinaigrette

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the apple and shallot and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the shallot is tender. Stir in the lemon juice, sugar, and remaining 5 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  • Transfer half this mixture to a food processor and pulse a few times to finely chop. Combine this with the remaining apple/shallot mixture in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vinegar, nut oil, mustard, thyme, lemon zest, and peppercorns. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside. (Refrigerate the dressing if making more than 1 hour in advance; allow it to come to room temperature before serving.)

Make the nut crust

  • Combine the nuts, lemon zest, thyme, salt, mustard, and cayenne in the food processor. Pulse 10 to 15 times to finely chop the nuts, until they have a texture of bread crumbs; avoid overprocessing. You don’t want to make nut paste. Transfer to a shallow dish.

Prepare and cook the halibut

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Stir together the melted butter and vegetable oil in a shallow dish. Dip the halibut in this to evenly coat, allowing the excess to drip off. Immediately coat the fish evenly with the nut crust and set on the baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and the fish is just opaque throughout (the timing will vary depending on the thickness of the fish).
  • To serve, set the halibut pieces on individual warmed plates. Stir the vinaigrette to remix and spoon it over and alongside the fish.
Print RecipeBuy the Memorable Recipes cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Originally published July 14, 2009

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Comments

    1. Hi Barbara, one of our testers baked it at 375 for 15 minutes and had great results. How did yours turn out?

  1. 5 stars
    As you know, I’m always looking for new and tasty seafood recipes, and, of course, I’ve found yet another one on LC! This dish has interesting textures and flavors. My family really enjoyed it. I used pecans for the crust. Next time I may use about 1/2 teaspoon less salt for the nut mixture, otherwise I adored this recipe. The dressing served with the fish is lovely. I baked the halibut for about 15 minutes at 375°, and it came out perfect!

    1. Mrs E, I’m thrilled you liked the recipe! And thank you for going through the archives to find something for dinner. It always pleases me to see older recipes get some reader love.

  2. 5 stars
    I made it twice already. First time with hazelnuts, second time with pecans (BTW this nut crust is super itself, I used it in some other recipes with fish). This is extremely delicious, such a good combination of flavors. I made apple vinaigrette only once though (was not enough time for it the last time). My boyfriend and his friend were impressed. Thank you for this recipe.

    1. So glad that you liked it, Nadya! Isn’t it nice when you can find that perfect recipe to add to your repertoire of dishes?

      Beth Price
      Director of Recipe Testing

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

Rate this recipe!

Have you tried this recipe? Let us know what you think.

Upload a picture of your dish