Friday Harbor Restaurant, Island Grown Cuisine with a Mediterranean Flair

Chef Tim’s Halibut Recipe + Wine Pairing

Chef Tim

Recipe: Pan Roasted Halibut, Beurre Rouge, Roasted Carrots & Parsnips with Fresh Thyme

Pairing: Evening Land, Seven Springs, Gamay Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon



  • Two 6 oz Halibut Filets
  • Cooking oil (your choice olive oil, canola oil, safflower oil, any high heat neutral oil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Beurre Rouge

  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of minced shallots
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Thyme Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

  • 2 or 3 small baby carrots
  • ½ cup of sliced parsnips
  • 3 whole thyme sprigs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoons of oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss carrots and parsnips in oil then season with salt and pepper. Place vegetables in a heat proof small sauté pan and lay thyme sprigs on vegetables and place in the oven, check at 15 minutes and when vegetables can be pierced easily with a fork remove from the oven. If not done at 15 minutes return to the oven and check every 5 or 10 minutes until done.
  3. When vegetables are done, remove and place in a warm place. Preheat medium sized sauté pan over medium high heat. Thoroughly dry fish and season with salt and pepper. Add enough oil to thoroughly coat the bottom of the pan. Place halibut in the pan carefully and sear without moving until the bottom edges clearly are browning. Carefully flip each filet and cook for 1 minute. Remove fish to a heat proof pan and place in the same 400 degree oven used for the vegetables.
  4. Discard any remaining oil. Add shallots and cook over medium heat until you can smell the fragrance of the shallots cooking. At this point, add the wine and reduce by half, add the cream and let the cream come up to a boil. Turn the heat to low and add butter in three parts, swirling pan to emulsify the butter before adding the next part of butter. Once all of the butter is incorporated, add the thyme and remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Check the fish after 5 minutes. Insert a cake tester or paring knife to the center of the fish. Hold for 3 seconds. Remove and place the cake tester or pairing knife to the underside of your wrist. If it feels warm the fish is medium, if it is hot it is well done, if it is cold it is rare. Cook to your liking (I recommend medium).
  6. Place the carrot and parsnips on the plate artfully. Top with halibut filet and spoon sauce on top.
white fish with pesto and roasted fern fronts, carrots, and peas

Chef Tim’s Halibut Entree from 2018

Post Script

This is a fun pairing, red wine and fish. Halibut is in season now in the Salish Sea. Halibut as a white fleshed fish pairs extremely well with butter or cream sauces. The fun part of this paring is to utilize a red wine rather than a more common white wine in the sauce. This is our bridge to pairing a red wine. Gamay as a red grape has the necessary acidity to balance the fat in the butter sauce and is light enough to not overwhelm the halibut. Additionally, there are earth notes to this wine that transition well to the root vegetables that round out the entire dish.

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120 Nichols Street
Friday Harbor, WA 98250


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