Cod and Spring Vegetables en Papillote

By • April 12, 2013 1 Comments

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Author Notes: Hmm....en papillote? Sounds fancy, you're thinking.

And while this dish certainly delivers impressive sophistication in both presentation and taste, the preparation is super easy-and clean-up zilch! This dish is like a present: the fish and veggies are wrapped up "en papillote" (aka in paper/parchment), then baked in their own juices until succulent and tender. ”Your only job is to place it in the oven. Less than 30 minutes later, voila! Unwrapping the paper reveals dinner steamed to perfection, surrounded by a fragrant, flavorful broth that begs for a crusty baguette or bed of whole grains for sopping up. Oh, and that "clean-up" I was talking about? Since the dish only touched the paper it was encased in, crumple it up and throw it in the garbage-your pan stays spanking clean.

The vegetables and herbs that go en papillote are for you to choose. I threw in grape tomatoes, zucchini, capers, and artichokes; but was also considering asparagus, peas, leeks, and yellow squash. Anything will taste good in the lovely, light broth of chicken stock, white wine, and fresh lemon juice. For herbs I chose cilantro, but parsley, mint, and basil will work well too. Throw in a fresh sprig of thyme or oregano to really hone in that garden-fresh Springtime flavor. The diced jalapeno contributes a spicy kick to contrast nicely against the broth's mellow flavors.

I suggest serving with a light white wine (the rest of that bottle required in the recipe, perhaps?), fresh green salad, and sop-friendly grain of your choice (brown rice, cous-cous, and quinoa are all good options.) And as you throw out that parchment paper, say a final goodbye to the hearty stews and thick leafy greens of winter: Spring is here!


Serves 2

  • parchment paper or aluminum foil
  • 2 cod fillets, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 3/4 cup artichoke hearts, diced (about 5 canned)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (and/or parsley, mint, basil)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper large enough to cover two times the surface area of your baking pan. (You are going to be wrapping up the fish just like a present, so it's better to be safe than sorry and end up with extra papillote.)
  2. Center the papillote in the baking pan, and crease firmly around the inside edges to line it. (There should be ample paper hanging off each side.) Lightly mist the surface with an olive oil spritzer (or 1 tbsp olive oil.) Add cod filets to pan, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and flip over. Set cod fillets aside.
  3. Add the grape tomatoes, zucchini, scallion, jalapeño, capers, and artichokes to the papillote. Mix vegetables together. Place the cod fillets over the vegetables. Sprinkle cilantro (and other desired herbs) evenly over fish and veggies. Pour chicken broth, white wine, and lemon juice evenly over the contents of the papillote. Fold the excess paper over the fish mixture, just like closing a box, so contents are completely sealed.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes if fish is frozen, and 15 minutes if fish is thawed. Season with more salt & pepper to taste. Serve over rice, cous-cous, quinoa, or pasta; or with whole-grain sliced baguette. Pour excess broth over fish upon serving.

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