Lemon-Thyme Grilled Fish with Cucumbers and Arugula

June 10, 2010
8 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

A few weeks ago, dying to try something from the fabulous Sunday Suppers at Lucques, my eyes fell on the simple Hawaiian Snapper in Crème Fraîche recipe. I adapted it to suit my tastes and what I had on hand and I couldn't believe how perfectly the recipe fit into this week's category. I used Halibut but you can try the recipe with any other similar white fish or the Snapper as in the original. It's perfect for summer - in this adaptation, cucumbers in Greek yogurt provide a cool contrast to the fish seasoned with lemon and thyme and grilled to perfection, arugula completes the plate with a peppery bite. —Heena

What You'll Need
  • 6 Halibut fillets, about 5 oz each
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves, use a shap knife or scissors
  • 3-4 medium-size cucumbers (about 1 pound in total)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (if you can't find any, use a very thick yogurt that has been hung in a cheesecloth for an hour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Drizzle of olive oil and fresh lemon juice to serve
  1. Season the fish with the grated lemon zest, thyme and parsley. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
  2. Remove the fish 20 minutes before you start cooking to bring it to room temperature.
  3. Peel the cucumber, cut into 1-inch long sections and then cut into julienne strips. (De-seed the cucumbers if you prefer.) Toss with 1 teaspoon salt and let sit in a colander for 20 minutes.
  4. Toast the cumin seeds in a small pan over medium heat until they change change color, 2-3 mins.
  5. Mix the cumin, garlic, lemon juice, dill, coriander powder and cayenne pepper into the yogurt.
  6. Pat the cucumbers dry with a paper towel and toss with the yogurt mixture. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the chopped mint.
  7. Prepare the grill (medium heat). Brush the fish with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Grill fish, turning once, until the fish is just cooked through, 6-8 minutes in total.
  8. Scatter the baby arugula leaves on the plate/s. Spoon the cucumbers over the leaves and arrange the fish on the top. Season with a generous amount of lemon juice and a drizzle of good olive oil. Serve immediately.
  9. Do-ahead: You can prepare the yogurt mixture minus the cucumbers and mint ahead of time. Add the cucumbers and mint and season with salt and pepper just before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Texas Ex
    Texas Ex
  • Christa
  • checker
  • lapadia
  • Heena

17 Reviews

Shortrib March 15, 2022
Very nice! I used the peeler to julliene the seeded cucumber which seemed faster. The cucumber yogurt was good with the arugula, something I wasn't so sure about. I pan fried the halibut pieces for 3 mins, then flipped and finished in a 350 oven for 4 mins. Perfection! Thank you for the recipe.
Linda D. December 18, 2020
Absolutely delicious! Thank you!
Texas E. May 31, 2020
This is a wonderful dish. The balance of flavors is perfect, particularly when produce is in season in the Spring. Thanks for the recipe.
Christa June 19, 2013
I loved this dish! My grocer was out of Halibut, so I used Tilapia instead. Still amazing. Great summer dinner.
checker March 15, 2011
I live in Washington, DC where things are starting to get green and flowers are starting to bloom and I am starting to think about cooking outside. This might be one of the first things I try. Sounds so refreshing!
Heena March 15, 2011
I'm so envious - it's stil hovering around 40F in Toronto.
This is the perfect summer dish - light and refreshing. I hope you enjoy it.
lapadia June 11, 2010
Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, the picture almost looks like I can grab the halibut off my computer screen and start eating..
Heena June 12, 2010
With all the good pics floating out there, I've lost count of the number of times I've felt like doing that : )
thelastcourse June 11, 2010
That recipe in Sundays is fabulous. I love that whole cookbook and use it often. What specific flavor or tecnique do you think makes your different?
Heena June 11, 2010
I agree, it is a fabulous book.
Changes to the original recipe, besides many quantity changes, are as follows:
Halibut because I prefer it, Greek yogurt instead of crème fraîche for more tang and also because I believe it has a fresher feel to it, kept the cumin whole because I love the crunch of sudden flavor it provides, added coriander powder and dill because I think their flavor profiles work well with both the yogurt and fish and grilling the fish instead of pan-frying because this is totally a summer dish. The original recipe serves this with rice, I like it simply served on a bed of baby arugula. I hope this answers your question.
Heena June 11, 2010
Also, did not use lemon preserves because I wanted the recipe to be accessible so I could make it any time and no shallots because I didn't want anything interfering with the fresh taste of the cucumbers.
Heena June 11, 2010
Thank you for all your lovely comments. I'm glad I could share this simple but delicious summer recipe with you.
aargersi June 11, 2010
Really beautiful - your photos looks professional and the recipe sounds delicious!!! I am adding this to my "to make" list
Heena June 11, 2010
Thank you!! Believe it or not, I picked up a DSLR for the first time in March 2010, and clicked my first food-photo in April 2010. I have a lot to learn, but I'm having so much fun doing it : )
EmilyNunn June 11, 2010
mrslarkin June 11, 2010
That looks beautiful. And sounds delicious.
drbabs June 11, 2010