In cooking these tender and flavorful cheeks, I approached them as I would scallops. Searing them on a hot cast-iron pan, flipping them, and then allowing the residual heat from the pan to finish the cooking process. They are delicate and do not require a lot of cooking time and are best a little underdone.
Because they are so flavorful, I kept the seasonings to a minimum and just brightened it up with sweet Meyer lemons and refreshing basil. Feel free to serve them with roasted asparagus as I did or other seasonal vegetables.
Check out more Healthy and Hearty Halibut Recipes.
- 4-5 halibut cheeks, roughly 1 pound
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice and zest of 1 Meyer lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Heat a cast-iron or heavy duty pan over high heat. Meanwhile, coat the room-temperature cheeks with 1 tablespoon of oil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cheeks to the pan. Cook for about 1-2 minutes or until it starts to whiten on the sides. Flip, wait 30 seconds, and then remove from the heat, leaving them in the pan to finish cooking for another couple of minutes.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette by combining the lemon juice, salt, pepper, basil, and then the remaining olive oil. Whisk to combine, seasoning as needed. Plate the cheeks, gently pouring the vinaigrette on top. Enjoy!