Za’atar Spiced Halibut With Blistered Cherry Tomatoes and Barley

za'atar halibut with barley and broccolini

Molly Cleary

Total Time: 40 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Servings: 4

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

425 calories
16g fat
41g carbs
32g protein
Show Nutrition Label Hide Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving  
Calories 425
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 376mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 11g 39%
Total Sugars 4g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 32g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 125mg 10%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 575mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Halibut is a firm and flavorful white fish. It is low in fat, making it an excellent lean protein source for a meal. Halibut is also rich in selenium, a micronutrient that may play a role in preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive decline.

This fish is hearty enough to stand on its own but is enhanced by the fragrant za'atar spice. Za'atar is a blend of several herbs and seeds native to the Mediterranean region. It adds a slightly tangy and nutty taste.


  • 1 pound halibut, divided into 4 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons za’atar spice
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ounces broccolini, or about 12 stalks
  • 1 cup barley, dry
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Combine barley with 3 cups of water in the saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and lower to a simmer. Cook for 25-30 minutes until water has absorbed. 

  2. Sprinkle halibut with za'atar spice, covering all sides that do not have skin.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the halibut on the skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Flip and cook for 3 more minutes, until fish turns opaque.

  4. Place the broccolini in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes to steam.

  5. Add olive oil to a pan and heat to medium-high. Add cherry tomatoes and let them cook until they start to soften and blister, (about 2 minutes). Stir and cook for another minute or so. Remove from heat. Add broccolini to the same pan and mix well.

  6. Toss barley with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper.

  7. Divide evenly among four plates and enjoy.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Za’atar can be found at Mediterranean specialty stores, as well as online. If you’d like to make your own, the base of the recipe is dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, and sesame seeds. Some recipes will also use sumac.

If you cannot find halibut or are looking for a more affordable option, then cod would also work well in this recipe.

Rate this Recipe

You've already rated this recipe. Thanks for your rating!
Was this page helpful?