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Halibut en Papillote with Spring Vegetables

March 26, 2016

 

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The cooking method known as En Papillote (pah-pee-YOHT) is a French cooking technique in which food is baked inside paper, typically parchment paper. The fish cooks quickly because it steams in its own flavorful juices. The papillote will puff up and the steam keeps the fish and vegetables moist. In this preparation fish is baked on a bed of seasonal vegetables. Add olive oil, lemon, crisp white wine and a dollop of butter, along with fresh herbs to produce an aromatic and light sauce. With the produce departments bursting with spring veggies there are many combinations you can explore. I liked the idea of thin slices of fennel, ramps (or scallions), asparagus, rainbow carrots and peas. The possibilities are endless. Halibut works well in this recipe, but any firm white fish will work such as cod, sole, sea bass or grouper. Serve the pappillote intact for a festive presentation. Happy Spring.

Halibut en Papillote with Spring Vegetables

Serves 4
4   4-6 ounce skinless halibut fillet

12 ramps (or scallions)

A handful of seasonal vegetables, julienned. (asparagus, purple or green/ carrots, rainbow. fennel, a few peas.)

1 lemon, cut in slices

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter (optional)

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup of dry white wine

Fresh thyme, a few sprigs

Crusty bread, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Tear out 4 (14 x 12 inch) pieces of parchment paper. Fold in half, making a crease down the middle. Using kitchen shears, cut the parchment into a heart shape.
Simple technique. Arrange vegetables on parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and wine. Place fish on top. Season with salt, pepper and herbs. Wrap. Place on baking sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes until slightly puffed. Serve. Snip the packets open with a scissors. Prepare for an aromatic facial! Serve with crusty bread.

Note: Keep your veggies cut to similar sizes for even cooking.

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