For this recipe, you could choose any flaky white fish, if a nice piece of Halibut is not available, I like the “steakiness” of the Halibut which is a lovely complement to the Saffron infused Orzo. My family especially loved the Orzo in this dish. It is so aromatic and adds such an earthy flavor and gorgeous color to the dish. I like to prepare it as i would a risotto which yields a final product that is a cross between a rice and a pasta. I sprinkled the fish with a little bit of smoked paprika at the very end and lots of fresh squeezed lemon.

Serves 4


For fish:

  • 1 1/4 lb Halibut filet
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Juice of one or two lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Parsley leaves for garnish
  • For Saffron Orzo Pilaf:
    • 1 1/4 cup Orzo
      2 shallots, finely chopped
      1 tablespoon unsalted butter
      1 tablespoon olive oil
      1/4 cup dry white wine
      11/2 chicken stock
      1/2 -1 teaspoon Saffron
      Kosher salt and pepper to taste

    Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub fish with melted butter and olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place fish on prepared pan, and bake in oven for about 20 minutes. Fish is ready when it flakes apart a bit and has just lost its fleshiness. Remove fish from oven, and squeeze fresh lemon on fish and sprinkle with paprika.

    Begin preparing Orzo about 10 minutes before placing fish in the oven, Place saffron in about 1/4 cup of stock to dissolve. In a medium skillet with lid, melt butter and oil on medium heat and add chopped shallots. Season with salt and pepper and stir until shallots are fragrant and tender (about 5 minutes). Add Orzo and increase heat to high, stirring constantly until Orzo is fragrant and slightly golden on edges. Add wine, and continue to stir constantly reducing heat to medium low, until absorbed. Continue adding liquid a little at a time, including dissolved saffron and stock combination and additional water as needed until liquid is absorbed and Orzo is tender (about 15 minutes). Continue to stir the Orzo and liquid so it doesn’t stick to pan. When Orzo is al dente, leave a bit of liquid in the bottom of pan, place lid on top and turn off heat. Let Orzo rest for about 5-10 minutes permitting remaining liquid to absorb and finish cooking Orzo.

    To serve, place 1/2 cup Orzo on center of plate, top with green beans, a fourth of fish filet. Garnish with fresh lemon slices, parsley sprigs and season with salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy!