We have so much halibut in our freezer so I always stock away recipes to use it with. I came across this one and high hopes but the pesto/beans just didn’t have a ton of flavor. I can’t put my finger on what was missing but it needed something more.
- (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans (about 2 1/2 cups), drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch watercress, long stems trimmed and washed
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped Italian parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon plus 5 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored,seeded, and cut into small dice
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot (from about 1/2 medium)
- 4 (6-ounce) Pacific halibut fillets, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
Heat the oven to broil and arrange a rack in the upper third. Place the beans in a large bowl; set aside.
Place 2 tablespoons of the beans, the watercress, parsley, capers, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until finely chopped, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. With the motor running, add the water, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and 4 teaspoons of the oil. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of beans and stir to evenly coat the beans.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the bell pepper and shallot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, add the bean mixture, and stir to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Set aside while you prepare the fish.
Drizzle the remaining 1 teaspoon oil over both sides of the halibut and season all over, including the sides of the fillets, with salt and pepper. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, lay 2 slices of lemon (overlapping if necessary) over each piece of fish, and broil until the fillets are cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. To serve, add the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice to the reserved bean mixture, stir to combine, and divide among 4 plates. Place a piece of halibut with lemon slices on top of each serving of beans.