Grilled Halibut with Watermelon Pico de Gallo Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Grilled Halibut with Watermelon Pico de Gallo Recipe

I’m on a bit of a watermelon kick lately.  It’s likely because wherever I seem to go, it’s hot and muggy and I just keep craving watermelon!  It is one of the most hydrating and cooling foods out there. Watermelon is actually more than 90% water.  But it’s also high in vitamin C, beta-carotene and lycopene (which gives it its red color.) I don’t usually wax poetic about all the nutrients in plant foods because I think they’re all good for you, but I think sometimes we think that if a food is mostly water, it’s not overly beneficial.  Not the case!

I love a good salsa or fresh sauce to put on basic proteins or vegetables.  I’ve made mango salsa, peach salsa, strawberry salsa, kiwi salsa, pineapple salsa, avocado salsa, so why not watermelon salsa??  The fact is, it’s totally delicious, easy, light and fresh.  So perfect for grilled fish or as a dip with chips or jicama. In the summertime, tomatoes are sweet and watermelon is not much sweeter, so they really are a great match for a savory salsa.

Pico de Gallo is a fresh, chunky salsa.  You should be able to see all the ingredients distinctly, whereas “salsa” is more liquidy. I used red watermelon and yellow tomatoes here for a contrast, but you can use all the same color.  You can also use more jalapeño or a hotter chili pepper to make it spicier.  For those of you who do not eat seafood, you can pair this pico de gallo with your favorite plant-based taco filling, such as jackfruit, chipotle cauliflower or lentils! All I know is that this is recipe might be your new summertime favorite!

If you make this recipe or any of my recipes, please tag me on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman!

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Grilled Halibut with Watermelon Pico de Gallo
Serves: 6
  • For the Pico De Gallo:
  • 2 cups diced, seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • ¼ cup diced red onion, shallot or scallions
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped
  • ¼ of a jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced
  • 2 big pinches of sea salt + additional for the fish
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 6 pieces of wild-caught halibut fillets, about 4-6 ounces each
  • Unrefined, cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil (for brushing fish and grill)
  1. To make the pico de gallo: place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Allow to sit at room temperature while you prepare the fish.
  2. Heat a grill over medium-high heat. Make sure the grill is super clean so the fish won’t stick.
  3. Pat the halibut filets dry and brush both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper (one side is fine.)
  4. Brush the grill with olive oil and grill the halibut for approximately 4 minutes, then flip and cook until the flesh flakes easily with a fork, about another 3-4 minutes. Take care not to overcook the fish. Figure about 8 minutes total for fish that is 1-inch thick.
  5. Taste the pico de gallo and adjust for seasoning if necessary. Serve the fish with the pico de gallo on the side.
it’s nice if the watermelon and the tomato can be different colors, but use what is the tastiest.
This pico is also great with shrimp or fish for tacos. Even though I wrote the recipe with grilled fish, you can cook it however you like!


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  1. Looking forward to making the grilled halibut with watermelon pico de gallo.
    Can you recommend sides to go with it??

    • I think this would be delicious with a charred corn salad, arroz verde, zesty potato skewers or grilled zucchini.

  2. This looks so good! I’m going to put it on the menu for next week when we have company arriving. We’re in Maine so I should be able to get some nice fresh halibut! Thanks for the great recipe idea-colorful, fresh and different. All boxes checked.. 🙂

    • I’m sure they will love it!

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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