Recipe: Halibut Cheek, Confit Heirloom Tomato and Angel Hair Pasta with Sunflower Seed Pesto

Dress up your angel hair pasta with halibut cheeks and a rich sesame seed pesto

Credit: Randall Abele

The combination of flavours in this halibut cheek and sunflower pesto pasta is rich and divine

Dress up your angel hair pasta with a little gourmet flair – halibut cheeks, confit tomatoes and garlic, and a rich sesame seed pesto

Halibut Cheeks

  1. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Sear.
  3. Flip and baste with squeeze of lemon, sprig of thyme and butter.

Confit Heirloom Tomatoes

  1. Immerse halved Heirloom tomatoes in olive oil with shallots, garlic, thyme and basil.
  2. Cook slowly at 325 F for 1.5 to 2 hours.
  3. Let tomatoes cool in olive oil and refrigerate overnight for flavour.
  4. Cut tomatoes into bite-sized pieces.

Confit Garlic

  1. Immerse garlic in olive oil with thyme.
  2. Cook slowly on flat top.
  3. Saute shallots and garlic in confit oil.
  4. Add tomatoes and confit garlic, add angel hair pasta and toss with salt and pepper.
  5. Finish with a healthy pinch of chopped tarragon.

Tarragon Sunflower Seed Pesto 


  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh tarragon chopped
  • lemon juice to taste


  1. Saute sunflower seed and garlic over medium heat in 2 Tsps extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, cool.
  3. Pulse seeds with water and remaining extra virgin olive oil until a course paste forms (not too finely ground).
  4. Transfer to bowl and fold in chopped tarragon.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice.

To Serve

  1. Plate in Rosenthal bowl.
  2. Place pesto at bottom of the bowl, add angel hair pasta and halibut cheeks on top.
  3. Garnish with greens.

Recipe courtesy of The Fairmont Waterfront’s Executive Chef, Patrick Dore, whose Local Source menu features regionally inspired courses with suggested Okanagan wine pairings. Learn more about The Fairmont’s Herons Restaurant and Lounge.