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Pan-Seared Halibut with Cauliflower Purée and Fresh Tomato Relish


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This Pan-Seared Halibut with Cauliflower Purée and Fresh Tomato Relish is sure to impress. This dish combines the delicate flavors of halibut with the creamy richness of cauliflower purée, topped with a zesty fresh tomato relish. It offers a perfect balance of flavors and textures. Although this halibut recipe looks pretty fancy, it’s actually quite easy to prepare and can be on your dinner table in just over 30 minutes!

A brown plate displaying Pan Seared Halibut with Cauliflower Purée all topped with a cherry tomato relish.


Halibut is known for its firm texture and sweet, delicate flavor, making it a popular choice for seafood dishes. It can be prepared in various ways, such as grilling, baking, or pan-searing, and is often served as a fillet.

If you love this halibut recipe, check out my Pan-Seared Halibut in a Spicy Tomato Broth.

The high cost of halibut is primarily driven by factors like scarcity, slow growth, strict regulations, and high demand. In contrast, budget-friendly fish alternatives are more readily available, cost-effective to produce, and offer versatility in cooking, making them attractive choices for those looking to enjoy seafood without breaking the bank. The following are great substitutes that may be a bit more budget-friendly:

  1. Cod: Cod is a whitefish with a mild flavor and a texture similar to halibut. It’s a great substitute in recipes that call for baked, grilled, or pan-seared halibut.
  2. Haddock: Haddock is another mild whitefish that can replace halibut in recipes.
  3. Mahi-Mahi: Mahi-mahi, also known as dolphin fish or dorado, has a firmer texture and a slightly stronger flavor compared to halibut. It’s an excellent choice for grilling or pan-searing.
  4. Grouper: Grouper is a firm, white fish with a sweet flavor. It works well in recipes where halibut is grilled, baked, or broiled.
  5. Sea Bass: Although not budget-friendly, Sea bass, particularly Chilean sea bass, has a rich and buttery flavor with a tender texture. It’s a luxurious alternative to halibut.
  6. Salmon: While salmon has a stronger flavor than halibut, it’s a versatile fish that can be used in a variety of recipes.
  7. Chicken: If you do not enjoy fish, or looking for a super budget-friendly alternative, use chicken!


There are several compelling reasons why someone should make this Halibut with Cauliflower Purée and Fresh Tomato Relish recipe:

  • Flavor: This halibut recipe offers a perfect balance of flavors and textures. The delicate, flaky halibut pairs wonderfully with the creamy cauliflower purée, while the zesty fresh tomato relish adds a burst of freshness and acidity.
  • Healthy and Nutritious: Halibut is a lean source of protein rich in essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, making it a heart-healthy choice. Cauliflower is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s an excellent alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. Additionally, fresh tomatoes are packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Impressive Presentation: This dish not only tastes fantastic but also looks incredibly appealing on the plate. The vibrant colors of the tomato relish against the white halibut and creamy cauliflower create a visually stunning presentation.
  • Ease of Preparation: Despite its gourmet appearance, this recipe is surprisingly easy to prepare. You can have a restaurant-quality meal on your table without spending hours in the kitchen.
  • Versatile Dish: While this recipe showcases halibut, cauliflower purée, and tomato relish, each component can stand on its own. You can use the cauliflower purée as a side dish for various proteins, and the fresh tomato relish makes a great topping for grilled meats or fish.


Here are some tips to help you execute this healthy halibut recipe successfully:

  • choose fresh ingredients
  • prepare the tomato relish first to allow the tomatoes to marinate while preparing the remaining components
  • chicken stock can be replaced with vegetable stock, or even water
  • cook the cauliflower just to fork tender as overcooking can result in a mushy purée
  • use an immersion blender to blend the cauliflower into a puree
  • season both sides of the halibut
  • place halibut into a hot pan and do not touch until a golden crust has formed, and the halibut is cooked approximately, three-quarters of the way through before flipping (about 8 minutes, but will depend on the thickness of the fish)
  • swoosh the cauliflower purée to create a bed for the pan-seared halibut
Cauliflower Purée swooshed on a brown plate


If you have leftovers or need to store components of this easy dinner recipe separately, here’s how to do it:

  • Halibut: Store any leftover cooked halibut in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. To maintain its moisture, you can add a drizzle of olive oil or a splash of broth before sealing the container. Reheat gently in the oven or stovetop, being careful not to overcook and dry out the fish.
  • Cauliflower Purée: The cauliflower purée can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a bit of cream or milk to restore its creamy consistency if needed.
  • Tomato Relish: Fresh tomato relish is best served fresh, but if you have leftovers, store them in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The texture may change slightly, but the flavors will still be delicious.
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A brown plate displaying Pan Seared Halibut with Cauliflower Purée all topped with a cherry tomato relish.

Seared Halibut with Cauliflower Purée and Fresh Tomato Relish


This Pan-Seared Halibut with Cauliflower Purée and Fresh Tomato Relish is sure to impress. This dish combines the delicate flavors of halibut with the creamy richness of cauliflower purée, topped with a zesty fresh tomato relish. Although this halibut recipe looks pretty fancy, it’s actually quite easy to prepare!




  • 2, 5-6 ounce halibut filets, skinless
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, plus


  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh torn basil


  1. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the tomato relish. Stir to combine. Set aside to marinate while you finish the remaining components.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Add to a pot with the chicken stock and salt.
  3. Bring to just under a boil. Steam until the cauliflower is fork tender. Turn off the heat.
  4. Drain. Add the cauliflower back to the hot pot and place back on the stove to allow the heat to steam off any remaining liquid.
  5. Add in the butter and cream. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Add a touch more cream, if needed.
  6. Place lid and keep warm while you prepare the halibut.
  7. Pat the halibut filets with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  8. Season both sides with salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
  9. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick or cast iron pan.
  10. Once hot, place filets (presentation side down). Allow to sear on one side, without touching, for about 8 minutes (see note).
  11. Flip and allow to sear on the opposite a few more minutes.
  12. Remove the halibut and allow to rest for just a few minutes.
  13. To plate, add a swoosh of the cauliflower purée to a plate. Top with the halibut filet. Spoon on the tomato relish.
  14. Garnish with fresh torn basil.
  15. ENJOY!

You have to try this Pan-Seared Halibut with Cauliflower Purée and Tomato Relish! This fish dinner is as easy-to-make as it is impressive to look at! Tender, flaky halibut pairs beautifully with creamy cauliflower and crisp, fresh tomato relish. The flavors and textures of this dish are perfect compliments! #halibutrecipe #fishdinner #whatsfordinner #fishrecipe #dinnerideas #cauliflower #puree #plating #foodtiktok #easyrecipe

♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic


  • begin this recipe with the tomato relish in order to allow the to tomatoes marinate while preparing the remaining components
  • steam the cauliflower just to fork tender to ensure the purée will not be mushy
  • vegetable stock or even water can be substituted for chicken stock
  • sear the seasoned halibut in a hot pan on one side for approximately 8 minutes without touching (time will depend on the thickness of the fish)
  • try to avoid overcooking the halibut
  • although I prepared this recipe in stages, feel free to prepare the purée and halibut, simultaneously
  • you will probably not use up all of the cauliflower purée or tomato relish to prepare this dish (see post on how to store leftovers)
  • see post for additional notes and tips
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Seafood

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A photo of me in a black floral dress cooking at the stovetop at Williams-Sonoma

WELCOME! My name is Melissa Latin aka. Charlotte Fashion Plate. Happy to meet you! I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

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