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open-faced sandwich topped with fish and lettuce set on a blue plate on a brown wooden table

Coriander-Crusted Halibut Toast with Fennel Aioli

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American


Chewy toasted ciabatta gets topped with a delicious fennel aioli, lemony spring greens and fennel, and a gorgeous coriander-crusted halibut. This open-faced sandwich, aka halibut toast, makes a delicious weekday lunch or dinner. 


  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed (fronds reserved), quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups spring greens
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ½ cup high-quality mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
  • 1 (1-pound) skinless halibut fillet, bones removed
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread, halved lengthwise


Heat oven to 425ºF with rack set in middle position.

Whisk together mayonnaise, garlic, 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon minced lemon zest, and 2 teaspoons Dijon. Season aioli with salt and pepper to taste; set aside. 

Combine fennel bulb and spring greens in a medium bowl; toss with 2 teaspoons lemon juice and set aside. 

Place a large oven-proof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat to preheat.

Pat halibut dry then brush 1 tablespoon Dijon over top of fillet; season with salt and pepper. Grind coriander and mustard seeds in a spice grinder (or coffee grinder) until crushed (but not powdered). Transfer crushed seeds to a shallow dish or plate. Dip halibut, Dijon-side down, in crushed seeds until coated and most of the seeds have adhered. 

Add 1 tablespoon oil to preheated skillet and heat until shimmering. Add halibut, crusted side down, in skillet and cook, without moving, until golden brown, 3–4 minutes. 

Carefully flip fish with a spatula and transfer skill to oven; roast halibut until cooked through and easily flakes with a fork, 4–6 minutes. 

Brush cut side of bottom half of ciabatta with remaining tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper (reserve top half of ciabatta for another use, or toast and make this into a sandwich). Place ciabatta half, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Bake ciabatta until lightly golden brown, 4–6 minutes. 

Spread aioli over toasted ciabatta then cut into 4 equal pieces. Top each ciabatta piece with fennel-spring green mixter. Break halibut into large flakes and divide between toasts. 

Finish with fresh fennel fronds, a sprinkle of kosher or flaky sea salt, and a drizzle of olive oil (optional). Serve with a lemon wedge.


Fish: can’t find halibut? Cod, mahi-mahi, grouper, pollock, haddock, or striped bass will also work. 


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 395
  • Sugar: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 394mg
  • Fat: 27g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 25g
  • Cholesterol: 53mg

Keywords: crusted halibut, halibut toast

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