Pic by John Karsten Moran (NY Times)

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes


About 1½ pounds halibut fillets (or other firm white-fleshed fish), cut into 4 pieces

Salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

12 to 15 fresh sage leaves

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup coarse homemade bread crumbs, toasted

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Lemon wedges, for serving

Pic by John Karsten Moran (NY Times)


Season fish on both sides with plenty of salt and pepper.

Pour oil into a large, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron or nonstick) and set over medium-high heat. 

When oil is hot (but not smoking), swirl to evenly coat the pan, then add fish in a single layer. Let cook undisturbed for 3 to 4 minutes, until first side is nicely browned. Adjust the heat as needed to produce a steady sizzle and prevent scorching.

Flip and cook fish for about another 3 minutes, until just done. (To test for doneness, use a fork to gently probe the flesh: it should flake easily).

Transfer cooked fish to a warm platter or serving plates.

Make the sauce: Place skillet back on the stove over medium-high heat. 

Add butter and sage leaves. Cook butter, swirling the pan, until foamy and just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice.

Spoon butter sauce and sage leaves over fish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and parsley. 

Serve immediately, with lemon wedges.