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Halibut & Fresh Mediterranean Salsa recipe from S2 of Cooking with Nick Stellino

Cooking with Nick Stellino returns for a second season this month! Join Nick as he shares more delicious recipes for every craving, occasion and season. In anticipation of the new season, Nick has given us a sneak peek of what to expect this season by sharing one of his recipes—Halibut and Fresh Mediterranean Salsa. Plus, Nick shares what this recipe means to him. 

Season two of Cooking with Nick Stellino premieres Tuesday, March 24 at 7pm and continues every Tuesday night.

“My wife will tell you, I seldom do the same thing twice, especially when it comes to cooking. I am always looking for ways to make each and every one of my recipes better. Yet, for as much as I would like to believe that I possess a great culinary talent, the truth remains that many of my dishes are completely inspired by the food of my youth. This dish is a version of a summertime staple at our home and it was made with "Branzino" (Mediterranean Striped Seabass), not with Halibut. 
I love Halibut and I did not want to wait until summer to enjoy this dish, so I made it with ingredients that are easily available all year long in most parts of the country. I wanted it to be easy to make and full of flavor. I don't define my success by being better than others, rather, I get my greatest personal satisfaction by knowing that people—who are usually intimidated by cooking—when they are preparing my recipes, they can cook as well as me and better. Their success in their kitchen is my personal joy!
This dish embodies all of this and more. Please enjoy it with your family and share it with your friends!"
-- Nick Stellino 

Halibut & Fresh Mediterranean Salsa
Serves 4

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (optional)
1/2 tsp. C&H© or Domino© sugar 
1 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. pepper 
4 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice and seeded 
1 cucumber, 1/2-inch dice
1/2 large red onion, peeled and cut into thin slices
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar mixed with 1/2 cup water  
1 tsp. onion powder 
1 tsp. garlic powder 
1 tablespoon dry oregano or 2 of fresh oregano
16 fresh and cleaned basil leaves, chopped or torn 
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese 

For the Fish:
4 1-inch-thick halibut or sea bass fillets, 5–6 ounces each
4 tablespoons extra light olive oil, divided
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tbsp. butter (optional)

To Prepare the Salsa:           

Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside. Marinate the onion slices in the water vinegar mixture for 30 minutes, then drain and set aside. Combine the vegetables; tomatoes, marinated onion, and cucumber with the onion and garlic powder, oregano, basil leaves and feta cheese.

To Prepare the Fish:
Brush the fillets with 1½ tablespoons of the extra light olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté the fillets in the remaining 2½ tablespoons of olive oil for 3 minutes on each side. Add the butter during the last minute of cooking and bathe the fish with butter.Remove fillets and let rest.

To Serve:
Place a fish fillet on top of each serving of salsa and decorate with 4 fresh basil leaves.  

Photos courtesy of Therese Frare Photography.