This is a great dish for lunch or dinner. The garlic and cheese in the potatoes are nicely balanced with the acidity of the lemon juice. Halibut is packed full of healthy oil, translation- it's a fatty fish, but in a good way. I love it because it can stand a good sear without drying out. The pesto sauce is not needed, but I recommend it. It really ties everything together.
Before you start cooking your fish sprinkle a little salt and on top.
The smashed potatoes take 35 minutes and the rest of the dish takes about 15, so you'll want to have them in the oven before doing anything else. You don't really want the fish to have to wait on the potatoes.
Once your potatoes are in the oven you can start prepping the fish. You want to make sure it's dry from any excess moisture. This will insure a better sear. Searing meat of any kind is a way to seal in the natural juices.
Put your fish on a clean cloth and then drape it over top, pressing down gently.
In a pan, put 1 T of oil. You want the pan hot before you start cooking, this will give you a better sear. I like grape seed oil because it has a higher smoke point than olive oil, so it won't burn.
Carefully lay your fish in the hot pan. Be careful for any splatters, it shouldn't splatter too much because you've dried off the fish. If it was wet, it would splatter much more.
Lower the temperature to a medium heat and cook for 6 minutes. Do not move the fish around in the pan, just let it cook.
Using tongs flip the fish over. You can also use a spatula.
Immediately after flipping the fish over, squeeze most of lemon on top, then cover and remove from heat. Set timer for 10 minutes.
In 1/2 T of oil start sauteeing the kale. Cook on high heat until it starts to brown. This will give it a roasted flavor.
Add your spinach, garlic, a little squeeze of lemon, as well as a pinch of salt and couple of cracks of pepper. Toss the spinach around a bit, then cover and remove from heat, cook for 1 minute. Spinach cooks much quicker than kale, that's why you cook the kale first.
While your spinach and kale is finishing you can start plating the smashed potatoes. Place 3 potatoes on a plate.
You can use a ring cutter to form your spinach, or you can just pile it on top of the potatoes.
Finish by putting the fish on top of the spinach and then add a little sauce to the plate. If you don't want to add the sauce to the plate, or don't feel confident with your "swooshing" ability, you can always just top the fish with a little sauce (but you'll get better with plating sauce the more often you do it). Enjoy.