Pan-roasted Halibut with Watermelon, Peppers, and Corn Salsa

I love the taste of pan-roasted fish with fresh raw salsa, especially with the sweetness of watermelon, late summer corn, and a touch of acidity from fresh lime juice. This salsa goes especially well with a rich, meaty fish such as halibut or grouper, and can be prepared well in advance or even the day before, and the fish can be roasted “a la minute” (in the moment).

Feel free to add 1 Tbsp or so of finely chopped jalapeno if you enjoy a little heat (wear gloves when cutting if your skin is sensitive), and note that the further in advance you add the seasoning to the salsa (the salt in particular), the more liquid is extracted from the fruit and vegetables.

Yields 4-6 Servings


1 cup red watermelon (small dice)

4 green onions, sliced

1 corn on the cob

1 red bell pepper

1 Anaheim pepper

2 Tbsps of cilantro

Juice from 1 squeezed lime

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

4 7-ounce Halibut fillet/s

2 Tbsps of canola oil

  • To prepare the salsa, begin by small dicing the watermelon and toss into a large mixing bowl.
  • Thinly slice the green onions and add them to the bowl.
  • Blanch the corn in boiling salted water for two minutes, then slice off the cob and add to the bowl.
  • Finely dice both peppers and add to the bowl.
  • Chop the cilantro and add to the mix.
  • Squeeze in the juice from the lime and add the olive oil.
  • Toss all to combine until even, and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until serving, for up to two days.
  • To cook the fish, heat 2 Tbspsof cooking oil over high heat in large sauté pan.
  • Add seasoned fillet/s just as oil begins to smoke.
  • Cook over high heat without turning for four minutes, then add butter and thyme (if desired).
  • Place the pan in the oven for an additional eight minutes at 350 degrees to finish without turning the fish.
  • Remove the pan from the oven. The fish should be semi-firm to the touch, and cooked through.
  • Place on a large serving dish, and top with the watermelon salsa.