Halibut with Black Olive Butter Sauce


The Pressure Cooker Gourmet

Published by Harvard Common Press

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Halibut’s mild white flesh takes well to aromatic pressure steaming, which preserves its firm, flaky texture and unassertive flavor. Butter swirled with lime and dotted with dill and black olives adds enrichment and color at the same time. Sea bass, salmon, or bluenose steaks or fillets will also do for the fish, but for the sauce, the butter must be butter-margarine won’t turn out a smooth blend because it doesn’t bind well with the lime.

Makes4 servings

Cooking Methodpressure cooking



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentpressure cooker


Taste and Texturebuttery, herby, light, salty


  • Two 1- to 1½-inch-thick halibut steaks or fillets (about 1 pound each)
  • Salt to taste
  • 12 sprigs dill
  • ½ white onion, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup Black Olive Butter Sauce
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon reserved cooking liquid fom halibut
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 8 black olives, such as Kalamata, pitted and chopped


  1. Sprinkle the fish with salt. Place a trivet in the pressure cooker and spread half of the dill sprigs and onion slices on it. Set the fish on top and cover with the remaining dill sprigs and onion slices. Pour in the wine and water, lock on the lid, and bring to pressure over high heat, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat right away and let sit for 5 minutes to finish cooking.

  2. With the steam vent pointed away from your face, gently release any remaining pressure. Transfer the fish to a serving platter, leaving behind the dill sprigs and onion slices and reserving the cooking liquid. Set the fish aside in a warm place and prepare the sauce.

  3. Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted but not foaming. Whisk in the lime juice and cooking liquid, stirring until smooth. Swirl in the dill and olives. Use right away.

  4. Pour the sauce over the top and serve.


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