Roasted Halibut with Lime and Papaya and Avocado Salsa

This recipe is bold and pretty enough that it could be served in a Mexican restaurant, especially when made into tacos or tostadas, as in the variation. Halibut is rich in beneficial omega-3s; plus, it has a meaty texture and mild flavor, which makes it great for kids or anyone who’s a little leery of fish. The marinade contains lime zest, cumin, cilantro, and cayenne, bathing the halibut in a sea of yum, and the Papaya and Avocado Salsa provides a tasty crescendo. 

Makes 4 servings

31/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets Papaya and Avocado Salsa

Combine the lime juice, lime zest, salt, cumin, cayenne, olive oil, and cilantro in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly blended. Spread 3 tablespoons of the marinade evenly over both sides of the fillets. Reserve the remaining marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil an ovenproof pan large enough to accommodate all of the fillets in a single layer.

Pat the fillets dry with paper towels and put them in the prepared pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily.To be certain the fish is cooked through, push a two-pronged kitchen fork straight down into the flesh; the fish is done when it is no longer translucent.

Drizzle the reserved marinade over the fillets and top each with a generous dollop of the salsa. Serve immediately.

Papaya and Avocado Salsa

The name of this dollop alone is enough to make you sigh.Avocado and papaya—doI really need to say more? Papaya’s key enzyme, papain, is a superb digestive aid and is often used in tenderizing blends. I designed this sweet, creamy salsa, which looks like edible confetti, to go with halibut, but it will take any fish or chicken dish from ballast to bling. Makes 2 cups

1 cup diced papaya
1 cup diced avocado
3 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea saltPinch of cayenne
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir gently to combine. For optimal flavor, cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Variations: Substitute mango, pineapple, or tomato for the papaya. Substitute pomegranate seeds for the red bell pepper.

(Photo Credit: Leo Gong)

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods. Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.