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Crunchy Pepper-and-Parm-Crusted Halibut with Cherry Tomato-Basil Sauce


For the sauce:

  • About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 large shallot, chopped

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

  • A few leaves of basil, torn

  • Salt and pepper

For the fish:

  • About 2/3 cup cornmeal

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • Lots of coarse black pepper

  • Four halibut fillets (8 ounces each)

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for frying

  • Store-bought balsamic drizzle (or reduce 1/2 cup vinegar with 2 tablespoons brown sugar until syrupy), for topping


Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and basil, season with salt and pepper and cook to break down the tomatoes, 10-15 minutes. Mix the cornmeal with the cheese and black pepper. Add the fish and turn to coat. Heat a thin layer of EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook, turning once, until crisp and brown all over, 8-10 minutes. Top the fish with the tomato sauce and a little Balsamic Drizzle.