Crispy halibut, roasted beets and brown butter lemon sauce

A fabulously tasty meal that’s ready in just 30 minutes!

I love preparing and eating fish and am always thinking about new ways to serve it. A bounty of gorgeous, organic multi-coloured beets and carrots from Bryson Farms was the inspiration for this recent creation. The sweetness of the roasted beets provides a fantastic contrast to the mild acidity of the brown butter lemon sauce and the creaminess of the fish. If you want to add a little more heft to your plate, cooked rice would be a great option, with a bit of the brown butter sauce drizzle over top. If you love fish like I do, be sure to check out the many fish recipes in the Constantly Cooking archives, including this great fish & chips recipe, my unique and delicious way to cook all sorts of white fish fillets and this easy but elegant salmon dish.

crispy pan fried halibut


  • 3 medium-sized beets
  • 2 large carrots, any colour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) white wine
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 fillets skinless halibut or other white fish (approximately 6 oz/170 g each)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons (30 – 45 mL) canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour (OR gluten-free flour)
  • salt and pepper
  • parsley and lemon wedges, to garnish


  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Peel and cut the beets and carrots into 1/4 inch (6 mm) cubes. Place in a large cast iron frying pan (or other heavy-duty, oven-safe frying pan). Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme leaves and toss with a spatula to combine.
  • While oven heats, put the frying pan with the beets on the stove to give it a head start. Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When oven comes up to temperature, transfer the pan to the oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
  • While beets roast, mince the shallot and set aside.
  • Make the brown butter sauce by melting butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan often. As soon as the butter is browned (3 – 5 minutes, approximately, but watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn), add the white wine. The mixture will bubble up so be careful.
  • Let sauce cook over medium heat for 2 minutes so the wine reduces. Turn off heat and add lemon juice and a pinch or two of salt, to taste.
  • When timer chimes after 10 minutes, remove beets from oven. Add minced shallot and toss well. Return to the oven until fish finishes cooking, stirring once or twice if you remember.
  • Cover the bottom of a frying pan large enough to hold the fish without crowding it with a thin layer of canola or olive oil and place over medium heat.
  • Break egg into a shallow, broad bowl and beat well with a fork. Add thyme leaves and stir again.
  • Put flour in another shallow bowl, sprinkle salt and pepper over top and toss gently to combine.
  • Dip halibut fillets one at a time into egg mixture, flipping a few times to coat thoroughly then dip in the flour mixture, flipping to coat thoroughly. Transfer coated fish to frying pan with hot oil, being careful to avoid spattering.
  • Cook fish approximately 4 – 5 minutes per side, until thickest part flakes easily or internal temperature of thickest part measures 135F with an instant read thermometer.
  • Remove beets from oven and divide among two serving plates. Put the cooked fish on top of the beets and drizzle with the brown butter and lemon sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and add a lemon wedge and serve.

Makes 2 portions; can easily be multiplied.

crispy halibut

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

2 thoughts

  1. Hi Paula, Just a quick note to let you know how much I enjoy your posts. Everything I have made has been outstanding – Really flavorful, interesting twists with herbs and spices! I will be making this recipe soon.

    As a celiac I am constantly searching for healthy nutritious and flavorful recipes … you never disappoint!

    Keep doing what you do … as you do it SO well !

    Best, Janice

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. You’ve made my day, Janice! Thank you so much for your kind words – comments like this truly do inspire me to keep doing what I love! Have a delicious day!

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