Pan-Seared Halibut with Charmoula over Quinoa and Asparagus

A flavorful herb and spice paste tops seared halibut fillets served over quinoa and asparagus.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 4
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1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 1/2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves and stems (about 1 bunch)

3/4 cup loosely packed parsley leaves (about 1/2 bunch)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 clove garlic, grated

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Kosher salt

3/4 cup quinoa (red or white)

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths

1 small white onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Four 4-ounce skinless halibut fillets

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put the cumin in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat and swirl until toasted and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the cumin to a food processor along with the cilantro, parsley, oil, paprika, cayenne, garlic and lemon zest and juice. Pulse until coarsely blended. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

For the quinoa:

  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Gradually add the quinoa, lower the heat to medium-high and keep at a rolling simmer for 10 minutes. Add the asparagus and continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the onions in a medium skillet with the oil over medium-high heat until caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. Fold the onions into the quinoa and season with salt and pepper.

For the halibut:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the halibut with salt and pepper and place the fish in the skillet, flesh-side down. Cook until just opaque and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  2. Divide the quinoa among serving plates. Top with the fish and charmoula.