Fish in Parchment With Pesto And Veggies

Fish in Parchment With Pesto And Veggies

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

Serves 2

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.

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10 Responses to Fish in Parchment With Pesto And Veggies

  1. austintexashomes May 23, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    A present for dinner – can’t wait to try it. Love the squash special delivery!

  2. Matthew May 25, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Yes, to be exact, he’s using his Cozy Car, or Cozy Car Coupe (2 door model) as a produce delivery vehicle. He can write this off as a business expense, right counselor? Does it run on methane, like my daughter’s does? We use ours inside during the winter to play ‘errands’ (stop and grocery store, stop at the library). Errands are where it’s at in our family.

    • Marie H. Saba May 25, 2012 at 11:37 am #

      Yes exactly! We play grocery all the time! I have to sit and scan all of his goods, while making small talk (“did you find everything okay today?”) and the scanning noise (“beep, beep, beep”), as part of the check out. We also do library check out. Good times. Methane, ha. Jack’s car is actually a green vehicle — he plugs the cord from a portable light fixture that we have (safe, I know) into his gasoline tank before errands.

  3. Laura July 21, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    Tonight I tried the fish in parchment with pesto and veggies. It was a trial run for Girl’s Summer Weekend next week. I didn’t have pesto so I substituted basil in a tube and used 1/2 the amount. I used Costco frozen tilapia tonight but I should be able to get fresh cod next week in Seattle. It was very good even with frozen tilapia.

    • Marie H. Saba July 25, 2012 at 10:21 am #

      I love shortcuts! Thanks for the suggestions! Hope you have fun with the girls — fresh seafood from Seattle sounds amazing :)

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