Pan-Fried Halibut With Spiced Chickpea and Herb Salad
Fresh spinach, herbs and spring onions come together here in a salad with crispy chickpeas, which is served with halibut and a punchy yogurt sauce for a quick and delicious supper. The Persian lime powder is optional; it can be purchased ground, or you can start with a whole dried Persian lime, roughly crush it with the side of a knife and then grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder. This recipe doesn’t really need anything alongside, but some good bread could easily bulk it up. Turn it into a great vegetarian salad by eliminating the fish and adding some extra chickpeas.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ⅓cup/60 milliliters olive oil
- 1teaspoon ground cumin
- 1teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼teaspoon ground Persian lime powder (optional)
- 2garlic cloves, crushed
- ¾teaspoon kosher salt
- 2lemons (finely grate the zest to get 2 teaspoons, juice to get 2 tablespoons and cut the remaining into wedges)
- 4skinless boneless halibut fillets, patted dry (about 1 pound/410 grams total)
- 1can chickpeas (15.5 ounces/400 grams), drained and patted dry
- ⅓cup plus 1 tablespoon/80 grams plain yogurt
- ¼packed cup/10 grams cilantro (coriander) leaves
- 2packed tablespoons parsley leaves
- 4spring onions, finely sliced
- 1small bunch large-leaf spinach, firm stems removed, leaves finely sliced
- 1or 2 mild green chiles, such as Anaheim, to taste, finely sliced and seeds removed if you like
- 2tablespoons vegetable oil
Step 1Marinate the fish and chickpeas: In a small bowl, mix the first 6 ingredients together with the lemon zest. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of marinade to a bowl with the halibut and mix well. Add 2 tablespoons of the marinade to a separate bowl with the chickpeas and stir to combine. Set both aside at room temperature for 20 minutes. Mix the remaining marinade together with the yogurt and set aside.
Step 2Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, blend the herbs together with the spring onions, spinach, chiles, lemon juice and a good pinch of salt.
Step 3Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, then add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the chickpeas (and bits of garlic) and fry for 6 minutes, stirring every now and then until crisp and golden-brown. Transfer to a plate and wipe the pan clean.
Step 4Return the pan to a medium-high heat with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the halibut fillets, spaced apart, and fry for 3 minutes on one side, then flip and fry for another 2 minutes on the other side until both sides are crisp and golden brown.
Step 5Very carefully transfer the fillets to a large platter. Toss the chickpeas gently with the salad, then transfer the salad to the platter next to the halibut fillets. Drizzle half of the yogurt over the salad and serve with the lemon wedges and the remaining yogurt sauce alongside.