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Fennel Crusted Halibut with Asparagus - a simple healthy dinner that can be made in 35 minutes! #paleo #halibut #glutenfree #lowcarb

Fennel Crusted Halibut with Asparagus

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 9 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Pan
  • Cuisine: Northwest
  • Diet: Diabetic


A healthy delicious recipe for halibut with asparagus two ways- in the sauce and as the side veggie. Tarragon and Fennel seed elevate this dish and infuse it with lovely spring flavor! Elegant yet simple.


Units Scale

Asparagus Sauce

  • 1 shallot, rough diced
  • 23 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus ( divided)
  • 1 cup chicken or veggie stock or broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1/8 white pepper (optional)
  • 23 tablespoons fresh tarragon (this makes the sauce!) or sub dill or flat-leaf parsley
  • squeeze of lemon


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter (or a mix is nice)
  • 2 thick filets of halibut, cod, black cod or sea bass
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • light sprinkling of fennel seeds
  • 4 radishes, sliced ( or sub 1 cup snow peas or english peas)
  • 1 lemon
  • Garnish with fresh tarragon leaves


  1. Make the sauce:  Cut the top 2-3 inches off the asparagus and set these tips aside. 
    Trim off the tough ends, discard. Slice the remaining asparagus stalks into very thin, 1/4 inch thick disks, until you have about 1 1/2 cups.  Any remaining stalks, add to the asparagus tips, cutting them to roughly the same size.
  2. In a small saucepan, cook the shallot in the butter or olive oil over medium heat until fragrant and golden, about 3 minutes. Add the 1 1/2 cups of asparagus disks and saute 1-2  minutes, stirring, then add the stock. Cover and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes or until asparagus is fork-tender.
  3. Don’t overcook or you will lose the lovely color.  Let this cool, then pour into a blender along with salt, tarragon and a squeeze of lemon. Blend until silky smooth. Taste and adjust lemon and salt. TIP: If you like a richer sauce- add more olive oil. If you want it more vibrant green- add more herbs or even a little handful of spinach. Blend until VERY smooth.  Place in a small saucepan and set aside until ready to serve. ( This can be made ahead and refrigerated.)
  4. Cook the fish: Pat the fish dry and sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the tops with fennel seeds and gently press down into the flesh.
  5. In a large skillet heat the butter or oil over medium heat. Place fish, fennel seed side-down, and sear until golden, about 4 minutes. Turn the fish over and add the asparagus tips and sliced radishes to the same pan. (You could also add other quick-cooking veggies like snow peas or fresh peas if you like.). Season with salt and pepper and lightly saute them alongside the fish.
  6. When the fish is done to your liking, squeeze with lemon juice and gently warm the Tarragon Asparagus sauce, stirring often. Do not cover or simmer the sauce, just warm it up, or you may lose the vibrant green color.
  7. Assemble! Divide the sauce generously among two plates, top with the seared halibut and divide the asparagus and radishes. Top with sprouts or fresh tarragon leaves. Serve with lemon.


If entertaining, the sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated, then heated right before serving.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 272
  • Sugar: 3.4 g
  • Sodium: 375.7 mg
  • Fat: 16.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.6 g
  • Fiber: 3.4 g
  • Protein: 25.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 55.5 mg