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  • Writer's pictureCRAIG BRYAN

Healthy Recipe, Halibut, Spinach and Chickpea Stew

Thick, white fish fillets are great to have around in the fridge or freezer for healthy, low-maintenance feasts. They’re quick to cook, and mild and sturdy enough to take to any number of preparations and flavor combinations. This recipe, lightly adapted from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything Fast” (Harvest, $40), is a case in point. Crusty bread is the only accompaniment you’ll need. Serves 4. – Susan Puckett


· 3 tablespoons olive oil

· 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

· 3 cloves garlic, minced

· 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

· 1 pound fresh spinach, trimmed of thick stems (bagged leaves are fine)

· 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

· Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

· 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

· 16 ounces halibut or other thick, white fish fillets such as grouper or cod, thawed if frozen

· Lemon wedges and chopped parsley for garnish


1. Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add the paprika; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Add the spinach in batches, stirring after each addition and allowing the leaves to wilt before adding the next batch so that it will all fit in the pan.

4. Stir in the chickpeas and season with ½ teaspoon each of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Cook and stir just until the spinach softens, 2 or 3 minutes.

5. Add the stock, lay the fish fillets in a single layer on top of the spinach and chickpeas, and sprinkle with another ½ teaspoon of salt and a few grindings of pepper.

6. Adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles steadily but not vigorously. Cover the skillet and cook until a thin-bladed knife inserted in the thickest part of the fish meets little resistance, 5 to 10 minutes. Take care not to overcook.

7. Break the fish into big chunks with a fork. Taste the spinach and adjust the seasoning if needed.

8. Ladle into wide bowls, garnish with parsley and lemon wedges, and serve.

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