Pan roasted halibut with brown rice, spinach, and tomatoes

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Pan roasted halibut with brown rice, spinach, and tomatoes
In partnership with Marin Organics, Kaiser Permanente recently sponsored a one-day farmers' market and health fair at the Fireman's Fund office complex in Novato. On a spectacular California day, nine farmers served many appreciative shoppers, some of whom may have been coaxed to the market by having their BMI, body fat and cholesterol analyzed earlier that day. Shopping at farmers' markets can be good for all of these health parameters. This week's recipe is a great example of cooking something healthy using market ingredients. After months of waiting, I scored the season's first organically grown farmers’ market tomatoes from a Santa Rosa farmer and just had to use them in something. Early-season tomatoes aren't yet the luscious, juicy, drip-out-of-your-mouth tomatoes you can look forward to eating sliced and served simply with basil and mozzarella, but they sure taste good in this dish. The halibut can be baked or grilled, however, I like pan roasting it because you get crunchy brown parts. This is really good.

Servings: 4


  • 4 portions halibut, about 6 oz each (other mild, white fish would also work)
  • 4 cups baby spinach, tightly packed
  • 2 to 3 tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 3 Tbsp Meyer lemon juice
  • 8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Cook the brown rice per instructions (usually it's 1-1/2 cup water per 1 cup rice simmered covered for 45 minutes.) Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk lemon juice into 5 Tbsp of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Coat the halibut with a little of the dressing. About 15 minutes before the rice is done, in a sauté pan with an ovenproof handle, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the halibut for about 4 minutes on the first side  and 2 minutes on the other side. Finish cooking it for about 5 minutes in the oven. SAFETY TIP: Be sure to cover the handle with oven mitts as a reminder to others. While the halibut is resting, use a saucepan to sauté the garlic briefly in the remaining olive oil. Stir in the cooked rice. Stir in the spinach leaves and tomatoes. Cover and cook briefly until the spinach wilts. Divide the rice and vegetables onto serving plates. Top with the halibut. Drizzle each serving with the remaining dressing.