Halibut with Lemon Risotto

This recipe is from our James Beard nominated cookbook, The Hog Island Book of Fish + Seafood and created by chef B Adamo, head chef of the Hog Island Oyster Bar in Larkspur. Here at Hog Island, we're dedicated to using local hook-and-line-caught California Halibut.

Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 quarts (2 l) fish stock
  • 6 tbsp (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tbsp (85 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups (400 g) Arborio or other risotto rice
  • ½ cup (120 ml) dry white wine
  • ½ cup (50 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup (13 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb. (455 g) skinless halibut fillet, divided into 4 portions
  • 1/2 cup (45 g) lightly packed pea shoots tossed with a squeeze of lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

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In a deep saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer. In another heavy saucepan, over medium heat, add half the olive oil with 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter melts, add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir until very lightly toasted, about 4 minutes.

Add 3 cups (720 ml) of the hot stock and the wine to the rice and continue cooking and stirring until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue adding stock about 1 cup (240 ml) at a time and stirring until it’s mostly absorbed each time. After 6 cups (1.4 l) of the stock has been added and absorbed, start tasting the rice. Continue stirring and adding stock in 1/2-cup (120-ml) increments until the rice is tender but still has a bit of texture. It should be creamy, not stiff. Stir in 3 tablespoons butter, the Parmesan, parsley, and the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Season both sides of the halibut lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the halibut and lightly brown on both sides, being careful not to flip too soon so it does not stick to the pan. Lower the heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to melt and coat the fish.

Divide the risotto between 4 warm pasta bowls. Top each with a portion of fish and garnish with pea shoots and lemon wedges. Serve at once.

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