Weeknight A Go~Go
Simple ~ Healthy ~ Yummy = loved by all
Cooking fish in parchment is probably made in my household at least once a week. Its definitely one of those…no brainer, quick, flavorful, weeknight meals. Sealing the fish within an envelope of parchment steams the fish and infuses it with whatever flavors you choose to incorporate.
I chose to cook my gray sole on a bed of lemons, a layer of fresh thyme, and an assortment of briny olives….i added a drizzle of olive oil and salt & pepper before sealing it up.
One trick I learned from sitting at the chef counter at Dell’Anima, is to precut your parchment into a heart~like shape. You basically begin with a large rectangle of parchment and then fold it equally in half, then using a scissor begin cutting at the top of the folded edge and cut a semi circle that ends in a point at the bottom folded edge….this should look something like a half a heart when folded and a full heart once opened. Place the fish on half of the heart and begin making tiny folds all the way around the fish until you get to the tip & twist to seal. i’ve attached a link to a visual tutorial.
Pop your little package of goodness onto a baking sheet and place inside a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish…mine was super thin and delicate so it cooked rather quickly
While the fish was in the oven I chopped up some fresh herbs, mashed up some garlic, added some shaved lemon rind, olive oil, salt & pepper, and made a quick salsa verde to brighten & finish off my fish once out of the oven. (I used Italian parsley & mint…but any herb would work…..oregano, basil, rosemary, tarragon, etc.)
The absolute best part about cooking your fish this way is the natural juice that’s created from the lemon, olive oil, and herbs….so delish and packs a punch of flavor.
I always change the ingredients i accompany with my fish….sometimes its cherry tomatoes, fingerling potatos, grilled artichokes, asparagus, red onion, fennel, or capers….you name it, it works….give it a go!
*tip - if you add the salsa verde to the fish prior to cooking, the herbs turn a muted tone and it lose their vibrancy…in both color and taste. Better to add to the fish just before serving or in small bowl table side.
** This is also a great make ahead no fuss meal when your having guests ~ the fish packages can be pre made in advance, on a baking sheet sitting in your fridge…just pop in the over and serve!
***My favorite cooking tool ? definitely my Microplane …. used for zesting lemon and sometimes orange….i’d be lost in the kitchen without it!