Life Style

Halibut With an Herb Vinaigrette Recipe

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By Ann Maloney

Chef Eric Ripert recommends making a velouté, a poaching liquid of flour and water, for gently cooking halibut fillets, which he then serves topped with an herb vinaigrette. In his cookbook “Seafood Simple,” he explains why: “Halibut is one of the most delicate of fish, in both flavor and texture, and therefore should be handled gently and with great care — overcooking it completely destroys its natural characteristics.”

To test for doneness, he inserts a metal skewer through the thickest part of the fish until it meets a slight resistance. He leaves it for 5 seconds and then touches the skewer against his wrist. It should be just warm; if it’s hot, the halibut is overcooked, if cold, the fish is not done.

With the fish, Ripert suggests serving steamed jumbo asparagus, and it is also lovely with steamed bok choy, tender green beans or a lightly dressed green salad.

Make ahead: The velouté can be made up to 1 day in advance and reheated gently over low heat.

Storage: Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Substitutions: You may substitute your favorite combination of herbs in place of the ones suggested.

Adapted from “Seafood Simple” by Eric Ripert (Random House, 2023).


For the velouté and fish


  1. Step 1

    Make the velouté: In a wide, shallow pot over high heat, bring 7 cups of water to a boil.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, in a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the flour and 1 cup of water until smooth, then whisk the slurry into the boiling water to thicken; it should be the consistency of a milkshake. Add the lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low. The velouté should be hot but not simmering, about 150 degrees.

  3. Step 3

    Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with a kitchen towel and place it near the stove. Sprinkle the halibut fillets lightly with white pepper, then gently place them in the velouté. Cook, turning the fish halfway through, until a metal skewer inserted into the thickest part of the fish for 5 seconds feels warm when touched to your wrist, 8 to 9 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Make the vinaigrette: While the fish is poaching, in a medium bowl, whisk together the sherry vinegar, a pinch of each salt and white pepper, and the mustard until combined. Slowly whisk in the oil to emulsify. Stir the chives, parsley, tarragon and chervil into the vinaigrette.

  5. Step 5

    Using a slotted spatula, transfer the fillets to the prepared sheet pan to allow them to drain a bit. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then transfer the halibut to warm plates.

  6. Step 6

    Spoon the vinaigrette over and around the fish, and serve immediately.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (1 fillet, 1/4 cup vinaigrette)

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    0 g

  • Cholesterol

    83 mg

  • Fat

    23 g

  • Fiber

    0 g

  • Protein

    32 g

  • Saturated Fat

    3 g

  • Sodium

    220 mg

  • Sugar

    0 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Adapted from “Seafood Simple” by Eric Ripert (Random House, 2023).

Tested by Ann Maloney.

Published October 3, 2023

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