Gluten-free with PMD: Just for the Halibut


Come on…I had to do it.

I’m not one for shamelessly bad jokes, unless I’m being sly and ironic, you know, like wearing a Bush/Cheney sweatshirt, the outlining of the lettering accented nicely by black-rimmed glasses, or dining at Applebee’s as a social experiment, not because the food is disgustingly good.

Well anyways, this is not a hipster-see-hipster-do rant, it is in fact a blog about living and eating luxuriously despite a completely gluten-free diet. And this week’s installment is about halibut done sort of rustically.

To me, halibut is the fine steak of Poseidon’s ocean, and like fine steak, the inherent taste of the product ought to be celebrated, perhaps slightly augmented by good simple seasoning and proper preparation. The recipe will be for seared halibut with slow-roasted garlic rosemary potatoes and a greens salad with diced Asian pear.

It is good to eat!

You will need:

  • Enough halibut for as many dinners (ask your fish monger to portion them out, he or she will oblige or be darned bad at doing their job)
  • Around four fingerling potatoes per dinner, roughly chopped
  • Mixed greens or arugula
  • One Asian or bartlet pear
  • A bunch of garlic also roughly chopped
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 390 degrees. Liberally line a glass roasting-pan with olive oil. Add the potatoes, a handful of garlic, plenty of salt, a few cracks of pepper and finely chopped rosemary to the roasting-pan, and set in the oven.

You want to get this aspect of the meal started at least half an hour before the rest of the meal is prepared, they will take at least 45 minutes in the oven to get golden and crispy.

Wash your greens and set them aside. Once the potatoes have started to brown nicely, give them a stir and flip.

Now we can focus on the fish. Halibut has such a mild, rich flavor and texture, that I believe putting a bunch of flavors on it would be counter productive.

I like to pat the fish dry with a paper towel and perforate the skin, as well as add salt and fresh cracked pepper to both sides. Select a large iron skillet and set to medium-high heat.

Gluten-free halibut, rosemary potatoes, and Asian pear salad.

Add some olive oil, not too much, and once the oil is hot and nicely liquid in the pan, add the halibut skin side up.

It is important that the pan be hot enough for this step so that you do not lose the small amount of seasoning that you do have on the fish, due to sticking.

I usually give it about 4-5 minutes on the first side on high heat, then flip carefully with a spatula.

I leave it over the heat for a few minutes on the skin side down, then remove from the heat, throw in a sprig of rosemary to flavor the oil, and add to the oven to finish for 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the fish.

You want the final result to be crispy on both sides, but moist in the middle and NEARLY translucent in the dead-center.

Once you remove the fish, let it rest for just a minute in the pan while spooning the flavored oil over the fillets.

Now concoct a simple vinaigrette with equal parts vinegar and oil, a shot of hot sauce, more fresh garlic, salt, and pepper.

Give it a stir or a shake and toss with the greens as well as the chopped pear. This adds some acidity and freshness to balance an otherwise slightly rustic and heavy dish.

Throw it all on a plate and open a white wine or your favorite gluten-free beer. In the picture, I enjoyed a Green’s Ale with my meal to great results.


Hungry for more delicious, gluten-free recipes? Check out the Gluten-free with PMD archive.


Matt Devlin Fish It Missoula BioMatt Devlin is a fishing guide in Missoula MT.  He enjoys dry flies, “floating with the bros”, attempting to get his labradoodle to chase tennis balls, and writing.