This dish is surprisingly elegant, not to mention delicious!
White fish and vegetables cooked in paper may not sound as “fine dining” as fish en papillote. But, this light and elegant white fish and vegetables recipe has the same impressive effect. Baking fish in a parchment paper package is perfect for date night. It’s also a great dish to wow the in-laws because it creates a fantastic presentation: Impress your guests by serving them a golden-tinged, puffed-up parchment parcel. Tear it open and get hit with the heady fragrance of shallots and lemon. Best of all, no clean up afterward!
This Classic French Dish Is Easier Than You Think
En papillote translates to “in parchment.” When you seal fish, seafood, or vegetables in paper parcels with herbs or other seasonings, something magical happens. The aromatic, moist heat inside the paper allows the protein to cook gently as its juices steam and mix with the other ingredients. Very little fat is required. It’s also very difficult to overcook the fish, so it won’t turn out dry.
If you don’t have parchment paper, aluminum foil will also work! You can fold your parchment however you like, too. Let your creative juices run by trying out the classic heart shape, or make them into squares, rectangles, or triangles.
This white fish and vegetables may also have the easiest clean up ever. Once the parcel has puffed from the steam that builds up inside, transfer it to a plate and carefully cut into the packet. Watch out, because the steam that escapes may be very hot! Makes sure you serve the fish immediately, and definitely don’t forget to pour any of the lovely juices still sitting in the packets back onto the fish for maximum flavor. Then, all you need to do is throw away the parchment after you’ve scooped and scraped up every last delicious morsel and its juice.
How to Serve White Fish and Vegetables in Parchment Paper
Keep things light and bright with your side dishes. I like playing off the lemon and fresh French-inspired flavors by pairing this dish with Herb Barley Salad, this French Walnut Lentil Salad, or a Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.
When it comes to beverages, look for zesty and refreshing white wines to balance the delicate fish flavor. A Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc would work great. If you prefer a beer, you’ll want to look for something that brings out the salinity of the fish and natural sweetness of the vegetables while cleansing the palate. A Belgian-Style Saison or German-Style Hefeweizen would be an excellent choice.
A Second Round
This white fish and vegetables recipe makes surprisingly good leftovers. Because the fillets are simply seasoned, you can do pretty much anything with them! I like removing the fish fillet and flaking them for fish tacos. Alternatively, arrange a bed of watercress or young arugula leaves on a salad plate, and set the fish on top for a 5-minute lunch when you’re in a rush.
Want more clean eating fish recipes? Check out our 11 Paleo-Friendly Fish Dinner Recipes!
White Fish and Vegetables in Parchment Paper
- 4 4 ounce filets white fish
- 1 large shallot minced
- 1/2 pound french green beans sliced diagonally in thin pieces about 3-4 inches long
- 3 medium carrots peeled and julienned into 3-4 inch pieces, to match length of green beans (tip: you can also purchase matchstick carrots in a bag if you don't want to cut them yourself)
- 3 Tablespoons lemon zest divided
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil divided
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper divided
- 8 pieces parchment paper cut into 8 inch squares
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the shallots, green beans, carrots, 1 Tablespoon lemon zest, half the olive oil, salt & pepper.
- Stack 2 sheets of parchment paper together, and repeat with the remaining paper so that you have 4 stacks of paper.
- Place 1/4 of the vegetable mixture in the center of 2 stacked sheets of parchment paper.
- Top vegetable mixture with a 4 ounce portion of wild cod.
- Brush each cod portion with remaining olive oil and lemon zest, then sprinkle with remaining salt & pepper.
- Create a packet by folding opposite ends together, then roll the two remaining ends to create a seal.
- Place packets on a rimmed baking sheet and place in preheated oven.
- Bake for 18 minutes, then remove from oven and open packets. Fish should flake easily with a fork. If it isn't done, re-seal packet and place back in oven for another 2-5 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
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