Pistachio Pesto Halibut

Updated: Mar 12

By Captain George Nippell, F/V JIMANI





There are many pesto recipes; this is one I got from a friend who is a real chef, but you can tweak it to your taste or use your own favorite, but once you try Pistachio Pesto, you’ll never go back. This calls for ¼ cup pistachio, but I usually up that to ⅓ cup or more.






Pistachio Pesto


● 1 cup fresh basil leaves

● 1 cup fresh baby spinach (substitute arugula for a peppery background if you like)

● ¼ cup shelled roasted pistachios

● ¼ cup parmesan cheese, either grated or shredded

● 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)

● 2 tsp lemon juice

● 1 tsp lemon zest

● ¼ cup olive oil, more if needed

● ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)


Using either a blender or food processor, combine the basil, spinach, pistachios, parmesan and garlic to a rough chop, and add olive oil to a smooth paste, stirring in the lemon juice and zest and add salt and pepper to taste.


Prince William Sound Halibut


● Preheat oven to 400 degrees

● Pat halibut dry and season to taste with salt, pepper and (optional) garlic powder.


Spread Pistachio Pesto over halibut and place in a lightly oiled baking dish or on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for about 14 minutes, depending on thickness of the halibut. If you have any doubt, err on the side of less time. I use an instant read thermometer and limit my halibut dishes to 120-125.


Finish the pesto-baked halibut with a little parmesan, and serve with your favorite sides. I like Rosemary/Thyme seasoned roast potatoes with roast cherry tomatoes and Brussels Sprouts or broccoli.


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