18 February 2021

Pan Seared Halibut and Cannellini Beans with Anchovy Herbed Vinaigrette


That recipe name ! What a mouthful ! This dish has a bunch of flavours that make for a real mouthful. The vinaigrette looks sparse, but it has so many powerful ingredients! In small amounts, they pack intense power. In addition, the beans have stealth to them. They have the garlic and shallot flavours that have gently infused their way into them. And the fish ... it was heavenly. With its crispy top and perfectly salty flesh, it is a real treat! SB and I have not been eating a lot of fish lately. For whatever reason, I have been craving it. I'm so glad I splurged and bought this halibut.

This was SUCH a nice dinner ! We had it with a side of steamed broccoli florets. 

Here's how I did it. 

Pan Seared Halibut and Warm Cannellini Beans with an Anchovy/Herbed Vinaigrette

Serves 2 with leftover beans for another use

Ingredients and Steps:

2 large halibut fillets, skin on

4 c. water

1/4 c. sea salt

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp. butter

Unwrap the fish and clean it quickly under cool tap water. Leave on a plate.

Place the water and salt in a deep bowl and stir until the salt is completely into solution.

Lay the fish into the bowl, making sure to have it completed submerged.

Set your time for 25 minutes.

Prep the beans.

1 large can cannellini beans, drained and gently rinsed

1 large clove garlic, smashed to large bits

1 shallot, small dice

1 bay leaf

Place the drained beans, garlic, shallots, and bay leaf in a large sauce pan and cover with fresh cool water. Not too much water. You don’t want to dilute the garlic, onion, bay flavours.  Simmer very gently for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat. Leave the pan to sit.

Prep the vinaigrette.

1/4 c. olive oil

2 tsp lemon juice

zest of half a lemon

2 tsp. capers, chopped

1 small clove garlic, smashed and minced

1 anchovy ( good-sized) packed in oil, finely chopped

1/3 c. fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and mix well with a fork. Add black pepper to taste. Set aside.

Prepping the dish:

Place a platter in a gently warm oven to heat up.

Heat a nonstick pan over high heat til it is very hot. 

While the pan heats, remove the fish from the brine. Dry it well with paper towels. Plate it and have it ready.

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to the very hot pan … swirl to coat the pan bottom. Lay the fish fillets in flesh side down and do not move them or touch them for 4 minutes. Set the timer and stick to this time.

While the fish sears, bring the heat up under the beans and get the pot to the point of steaming well, but not boiling.

If you are serving a side veg, get that cooking or if it has been roasting, get it ready to plate.

When the timer goes off for the fish, gently flip it … there should be a beautiful golden crust. Flip it to 

the skin side and continue searing for 1 - 2 more minutes. This time depends on the thickness of the fillets. 

Set the timer.

Use a slotted spoon to scoop the beans onto the warm platter. Remove the garlic chunks and bay leaves. 

Drizzle part of the anchovy herb vinaigrette over the beans. Save some for the top of the fish.

When the timer rings, plop the butter chunk into the hot pan and spoon the bubbling, melting butter over top of the fillets. Turn off the heat.

Lay the fish on top of the beans and drizzle the rest of the anchovy herbed vinaigrette and the remaining bubbly butter over top of the fish. Sprinkle with black pepper. Garnish with some lemon wedges for squeezing over the fish.

Plate your side vegetable.

Serve immediately.


  1. I've been anticipating another inspiring recipe from you Susan. My husband isn't big on whitefish but loves anchovies plus, I like the cannellini beans aspect as well.

    Hope you've been doing well.

  2. Thanks for sharing this informative and useful article.

  3. We ADORE halibut and buy it every time I see it, can't wait to try this recipe Susan, thanks.


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