… in cooking, as in life …©
Being a member of the Urban Roots CSA is both a blessing and a curse. While I absolutely adore getting the big bag of home-grown veggies every other week, it’s often a bit of a challenge to use everything in the bag. On the other hand, being forced to use different veggies on a regular basis keeps us out of the ol’ not-that-again dinner rut. This week, among many other things, we had beets, carrots, fennel, and a huge bushel of basil in our bag. I also had some asparagus in the fridge.
And then, from our own little garden at home, we had our first full-grown zucchini! Here it is still on the plant:
Jack picked it himself, and was so thrilled with our bounty . . .
. . . that he put it in the back of his little orange car and drove it to the kitchen, special delivery.
After getting some wild cod from the grocery, we had all we needed for fish in parchment with pesto and veggies, a dish I had not cooked in, gosh, years probably. It’s so easy, healthy, and delicious though . . . definitely adding it back to my regular rotation.
Baked Fish in Parchment with Pesto and Veggies
2 fillets fresh fish (cod, tilapia, salmon, sea bass, halibut, etc.), about 6 ounces each
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup homemade or store-bought pesto (I’ll post my recipe for this later. It’s also available in my iPad App, Cocina Marie.)
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 zucchini, shredded
1 piece of fennel, sliced very thin
2 asparagus, sliced into quarters
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Set your shredded and sliced veggies out on a cutting board. (I use a vegetable peeler to shred the zucchini and carrots. You could grate them with a grater if you wish. The most important thing is that you get very thin slices because they will only have 10 minutes to steam inside the parchment.)
Place a large square (at least 12×12) of parchment paper or aluminum foil on a baking sheet. (If you don’t have parchment, feel free to use foil — it’s actually much easier to work with than parchment, and you won’t have to worry about whether you can find a piece of string.) Place one fish fillet in the center of the square. Season with salt and pepper. Spread two tablespoons pesto over the fillet.
After you add the fish, I like to put the parchment paper in a medium-sized bowl. This will make it easier to gather up the sides later, and will prevent the wine and olive oil from spilling out as you work.
Top with 1/2 of the carrots, zucchini, fennel, and asparagus. Add 1 tablespoon white wine. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Top with a pat of butter.
Pull up the edges of the parchment and tie with a string. (If using foil, fold edges together to make a sealed package.) Place package on baking sheet. Repeat with second fish fillet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven.
Transfer one package to each individual plate. I love how they look like little presents!
Being careful to avoid hot steam, open packages.
Transfer fish with veggie toppings to individual plates. Pour flavorful juices over the top. This dish goes very well with simple white rice and whatever white wine you used in the recipe. Warm bread, too, if possible, for sopping up juice.