Serves serves 4
Prep Time 0 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes

1 tablespoon mixed white and black peppercorns

Coarse kosher salt

1 tablespoon pure olive oil

4 (4-ounce) Alaska halibut or salmon steaks, cut 1-inch thick

20 cherry tomatoes

1 cup lightly packed whole fresh basil leave

Orange or lemon wedges, for accompaniment


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Crush the peppercorns using the bottom of a heavy skillet on a clean work surface or pulse in a spice grinder until just cracked. Set aside. Sift to remove the finest particles of pepper. (They can make the fish far too hot.)

Season both sides of the steak with salt. Rub one side of the steaks with the pepper. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a 12-inch heavy-duty ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the fish steaks, pepper-side down, and cook, without moving, until a crust has formed, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the steaks and scatter over the tomatoes and basil leaves. Transfer to the oven and cook until the fish is firm, about 4 additional minutes. Remove the skillet to a rack to cool slightly and let the fish set. Serve immediately with orange or lemon wedges on the side.