Cooking Through A Cookbook · Weight Watchers Friendly Recipes

Seared Halibut in Gazpacho Salsa with Tomato Vinaigrette Review

Recipe 53 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

WW Note: This is 0 points everyone!!


I made this yummy dish on a cloudy day this weekend. And it was a really really good dinner! I had a little time trying to find halibut because, like the mussels from last recipe it’s easy to find frozen and less easy to find fresh. However, I found a meat shop near me and they had some beautiful halibut for me to buy. If you’re in the Southern California area make sure to give El Toro Gourmet Meats a try. It wasn’t cheap but it was tasty!

I love that this recipe was next! We’re trying to get back on track at our house after the holidays with eating healthier. My husband joined WWwith me so I’m now more incentivized to cook dishes that are lower in points for the both of us. This has zero points to it (other than the olive oil if you count it). Even if you are not a WW person this will be a healthy dinner any night of the week.

It came together fairly quickly. The tomato vinaigrette whirrled in the blender and came together in a few minutes. Deb talks about peeling the tomato as an option but I chose not to. I would probably use my food processor next time if I didn’t peel it since the skin did struggle to break up.

And look at all these veggies! I just kept telling my husband this is going to be something we need to do in the summer when these vegetables are more in season. I chose Persian cucumbers instead of and English cucumber since they were cheaper at my Grower’s Direct.

I did the the fillets of halibut in batches. It was a quick 3 to 4 minutes on each side so getting all the fish done didn’t take very long. I did have to add more oil part of the way through and with that I opted to use a clean pan too since the heat and oil had junked up the pan a bit.

I intended to save some of the fish for later in the month but that’s not what happened! Though the portions were for a lot more people than the two of us, we managed to gobble every last piece. I’m not super proud of that but it was a really really good dinner! And he and I are still losing weight so it didn’t set us back.

Now, I’m not a professional when it comes to cooking fish, but I have picked up a few things from the tips that came on the cards for Blue Apron when we were using them each month.

If you don’t know how to cook fish, a non-stick pan is your friend. I ruined a few rounds of fish in my pans before I learned how to prep the pan when cooking fish because I don’t have non-stick… here’s what I learned when using non coated pans:

Tip 1: Make sure your pan and oil are very hot! I read somewhere that having a hot pan prevents the fish from sticking because it cooks the proteins quicker so they don’t have time to stick. Learning that trick alone improved the outcome of our fish nearly every time.

Tip 2: Make sure fish is room temperature and patted dry before seasoning. This helps for a more even cook on the fish and removing moisture prevents splatter when it’s in the oil.

Tip 3: You can be generous with salt and pepper if you want. Just because it comes from the sea doesn’t mean that it has a salty flavor so it does need salt.

Tip 4: If you follow tip one about the hot pan and oil, then you don’t necessarily need a spatula for fish. They do come in handy but I think a normal spatula will do the trick because your hot pan takes care of keeping it from sticking to the pan. But if you need a set of them, these are similar to the ones someone bought for me and they are helpful.

I’m sure you know some of those tips and even have a few to add to the list. If you do, let me know and I’ll include them in this post with credit to you and your expertise!

I really hope you give this a try! If you like fish but are scared to make it at home please don’t be intimidated. I believe in you! But…maybe don’t start out with the most expensive fish you can get your hands on. Rather find some fish that’s a little bit cheaper so that you can practice. I wasn’t nervous about making this halibut like I normally would be because I’ve done salmon and barramundi in a pan and oven multiple times now. But one technique I haven’t tried yet is grilling fish. Ooft. That actually does scare me and would require a little research before trying it out.

You can find this recipe on pages 159-161 in Deb’s cookbook The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook or jump over to these sites as well:

Chocolate and Chiles

Cucumbertown (You Tube Video)

Missy’s Cookbook Cabinet

Little Observationist

Happy Halibut searing everyone!


Please note any links referenced are purely for referral to recipe or product details. There are no partnerships, profits or sponsers affiliated to this site.

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