clean plates. [parmesan & pesto crusted halibut in crazy water w. zucchini, tomatoes & orzo]

May 16th, 2013 by | comments


I’ve been fighting a cold all week, so I’m just now posting the dinner I made my mom and family for Mother’s Day. My mom requested I make this dish, as she made it for a dinner party and said it was an absolute hit; and boy, was she right. Not a drop of food was left in anyone’s bowl.

The “crazy” water was delicious, but the halibut stole the show. The slightly crunchy parmesan, pesto and panko crust perfectly juxtaposed the flaky fish. I will most definitely make this again soon.

(FYI, I made this meal for five people, so I tripled the recipe below).

parmesan & pesto crusted halibut in crazy water w. zucchini, tomatoes & orzo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • Halibut recipe:
  • ¼ cup panko crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 tbsp. pesto (recipe here)
  • 2 halibut fillets, 1-inch thick
  • Crazy water recipe:
  • ½ cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2½ cups water
  • ¾ cup halved grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup dry orzo pasta
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped zucchini
  • ⅓ cup jarred roasted red pepper, cut into strips
  • ¼ cup halved kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. For the halibut: Combine panko, parmesan, lemon, zest, salt and pepper in a bowl. Spread 2 tbsp. pesto on 1 side of each halibut and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Press panko mixture onto pesto side of fillets, spritz crumbs with nonstick spray, then refrigerate until ready to roast.
  3. For the crazy water: Saute onion, garlic, and pepper flakes in oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes, then deglaze with wine. Simmer until nearly evaporated, then stir in water, tomatoes, dry pasta, sugar and thyme. Cook until orzo is tender, about 9 minutes.
  4. Roast fish while orzo simmers. Cook fillets until crumbs are golden and fish flakes easily with a fork, 10-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
  5. Add zucchini, red pepper strips and olives to crazy water; simmer just until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Off heat, stir in parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. To serve, divide broth between 2 shallow bowls, then top each with a halibut fillet, and garnish with lime wedges.
Recipe from Cuisine at Home.


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