Brown Butter Halibut Orzo and Mushroom Broth

Simple Elegant Brown Butter Seared Halibut with Orzo and Earthy Mushroom Broth.

Brown Butter Halibut with Orzo and Mushroom Broth | #pasta #dinnerparty #delallo

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When the kids were toddlers, I had to get out of the house.

As a stay-at-home mom, I was doing exactly what I wanted to do, yet it was making me a little delirious.

DeLallo Pasta with Mushrooms #delallo

I loved raising my babies and experiencing all their momentous occasions first-hand, but I desperately needed adult interaction.

Sweet Lt. Dan would plan a date night each week, so I would have a reason to get out of my spit-crusted yoga pants and make conversation that required full sentences.

He’s good like that.

Rustic Brown Butter Halibut with Orzo and Mushroom Broth | #pasta #dinnerparty #delallo

Now that the kids are a little older, date night is no longer a necessity. Instead, we have dates for the sheer enjoyment of spending time together.

Honestly, sometimes I’d rather have a date-night in!

We recently went out to dinner, and I ordered a dish with a rich mushroom broth poured over the top. I was struck by the simplicity of the dish, yet with dark complex flavors.

Mushroom Broth

Days after our grownup night out, I couldn’t stop thinking about that earthy mushroom broth poured over simple clean ingredients.

I had to try this concept at home.

I made my own mushroom broth, using fresh button mushrooms, dried woodear mushrooms, and dried shiitake mushrooms. (Note: Dried woodear mushrooms often smell like feet, but provide a robust mushroom flavor. You won’t notice the aroma once the mushroom broth is strained.)

Brown Butter Seared Halibut

Then I decided to make a classic seared halibut. Pan-frying halibut in brown butter creates a rich golden-brown crust on this light flaky fish.

Sherry Sauted Mushrooms

I served the seared halibut and sherry sauteed criminis on a bed of DeLallo Organic Orzo, to provide texture and soak up the mushroom broth.

Then I gingerly poured the steaming-hot mushroom broth over the brown butter halibut and orzo.

Brown Butter Seared Halibut with Orzo and Mushroom Broth | #pasta #dinnerparty #delallo

This dish is somewhere between a pasta dish and a soup.

No matter how you categorize it, it’s sheer rustic elegance.

Perfect for a Date-Night IN.


Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Mushroom Broth over Brown Butter Seared Halibut


For the Mushroom Broth:

  • 1 Tb. butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 14 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 lb. fresh button mushrooms
  • 1 cup dried woodear mushrooms
  • 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms

For the Brown Butter Seared Halibut with Orzo and Mushrooms:

  • 4 Tb. unsalted butter
  • 4 halibut fillets
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1-2 Tb. dry sherry
  • 1 lb. DeLallo Organic Orzo
  • Salt and Pepper



  1. For the Mushroom Broth: Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions to soften, 3-5 minutes, then add the garlic. Saute another minute, then the water, salt, and all mushrooms. (If all the water won't fit in you pot, add as much as possible, and add the remaining water after the broth has simmered down a bit.) Cover, turn the heat down a little, and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Once the mushroom broth has simmered for an hour, strain out all the veggies and keep warm until time to serve.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet of medium-high, and bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Thoroughly dry the halibut fillets with paper towels, then salt and pepper both sides.
  4. Cook the DeLallo Organic Orzo according to package instructions. Strain and set aside.
  5. Place the butter in the skillet. Allow it to melt and brown for 2-3 minutes, then place the halibut fillets in the skillet. Sear for 1--3 minutes per side, depending on thickness. DO NOT overcook the halibut. It should be just barely cooked through, to keep its moist flaky texture. Once the halibut it perfectly seared, Place it on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  6. Then add the mushrooms and garlic to the skillet. Saute for 5-10 minutes to soften and brown. Salt and Pepper to taste, then add the sherry. Continue to cook the mushrooms, until the sherry has absorbed.
  7. To plate: Place a mound of orzo in 4 shallow bowls. Top the orzo with mushrooms and seared halibut fillets. Pour the mushroom broth in a serving bowl. At the table, allow each guest to pour mushroom broth over their bowl and serve immediately.


More Date Night In Ideas:

Crab and Gnocchi Gratin

Moroccan Grilled Lamb Chops

Stuffed Flank Steak with Prosciutto and Mushrooms

Portobello Mushrooms with Kale Pesto ~Bev Cooks

Seared Scallops Fettuccine ~ A Thought For Food

Chicken Cacciatore with Tomato Basil Sauce ~ DeLallo

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67 Responses to “Brown Butter Halibut Orzo and Mushroom Broth”

  1. #
    JulieD — February 11, 2013 @ 7:19 am

    I love the mushroom broth and everything about this dish!!


  2. #
    Mushrooms Canada — February 11, 2013 @ 8:58 am

    This recipe gives me reason to never go out for a date night again! How amazing does that look?! I will definitely be trying it out, maybe for Valentines Day! Thanks for sharing…



  3. #
    Christine (Cook the Story) — February 13, 2013 @ 11:02 am

    What a beautiful dish. I love mushrooms. And I love broth with mushrooms in it. Always adds so much umami. I also love reading that I am not alone in my need to get out of my encrusted yoga pants and find some adult company. Thanks for the hope that this craziness (as much as I love it! Ummm…usually!) will end soon.


  4. #
    Missy — February 22, 2013 @ 6:12 am

    Looks so delicious!!! Do you use any of the strained “vegetables” from the broth? Or discard them. Are the mushrooms that are used later in the recipe fresh or the ones from the broth?


    • Sommer — February 22nd, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

      Hi Missy, Yes the mushrooms in the after-shots are sauteed. Those that are removed for the broth don’t have a lots of texture and most of their flavor has been transferred to the broth, so I always put them in the compost or dog bowl. :)


  5. #
    marla — March 11, 2013 @ 5:48 am

    linking back to this beauty today :)


  6. #
    Cythia Sapp — April 22, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying. Butter consists of butterfat, milk proteins and water…

    Enjoy your day


  7. #
    rlk @ FirstTimeFoods — November 17, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

    This looks and sounds so gourmet! I am definitely going to try it out soon. Thanks for sharing!


  8. #
    Good Food Lancashire — December 10, 2014 @ 6:22 am

    Ohh so much Amazing and beautiful dish of mushroom.I definitely try it.Thanks for sharing..


  9. #
    Karl Hansen — December 16, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

    Thanks so much! The flavor from the broth was excellent and I will be trying something similar with lamb chops. I was directed here searching for a lamb chop recipe but made the halibut instead and need to make the chops too. Great flavor.



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