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Halibut With Nut Crust and Apple Vinaigrette

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“From Renee Behnke's book, "Memorable Recipes"”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 14 cup butter, melted (unsalted)
  • 14 cup vegetable oil
  • 36 ounces halibut fillets, skinless (about 6 fillets)
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored & diced (large)
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 13 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hazlenut oil (or pecan oil, can use olive oil in a pinch)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced thyme, fresh (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated fine
  • 12 teaspoon pink peppercorns, crushed
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped hazelnuts (or pecans)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, freshly grated
  • 1 12 teaspoons thyme, fresh, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 14 teaspoons salt
  • 34 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 12 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. For 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 adsvance, allowing it to come to room temperature before serving.).
  3. For 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 breadcrumbs. Avoid overprocewssing. You don't want to make a nut paste. Transfer to a shallow dish.
  4. 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 8 to 12 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.).
  5. to serve, set the halibut pieces on individual warmed plates. Stir the vinaigrette to remix and spoon it over and alongside the fish.

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