Halibut and Vegetables en Papillote (Halibut Cooked in Parchment)

August  9, 2009
2 Ratings
  • Serves 2 for dinner, more for apps
Author Notes

This is the simplest way I know how to cook fish without stinking up the place. At home in Brooklyn, I throw it in the oven. When I'm enjoying the good life in Maine, I toss it on the grill. On those really good days when I get to go cruising with my folks on their boat 'Summer Love', out in the Atlantic, on I cut the veggies a little smaller and chunk up the halibut for faster cooking on the little propane 'grill' that hangs over the edge of the boat. Wherever I enjoy this dish, it's simply fresh fish and farmer's market vegetables. Summer perfection, without the stink! —Sara

What You'll Need
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 handful green beans, trimmed and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 1 ear of corn on the cob, husked and cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 1 zucchini, cut into halfmoons, about 1/2" thick
  • 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • olive oil
  • juice of one fresh lemon
  • 2 or more sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 12-16 ounces fresh halibut, or other hearty fish, cut in half
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Or get your grill fired up to a medium heat.
  2. Combine all vegetables and olives in a bowl with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Also, season fish with little salt and pepper here.
  3. Tear off 2 sheets of parchment paper about 24" long each. (use foil if cooking on a grill.) Some people will cut the paper into a heart shape (keep it folded in half and cut the shape of one-half a heart, Elementary school Valentines anyone!) I just use the square shape as is.
  4. Using the bottom half of each parchment packet (keep the other half to fold over and make the packet), divide the veggies between the two papers, being sure to place in the center of the square, leaving at least an inch of space around the edge. Place fish on top of this and thyme sprig on top of fish. Give everything a good squeeze of lemon juice. And now you're ready to crimp it shut!
  5. Bring the other half of the paper to cover the fish and vegetables. Starting at one corner, fold the paper onto itself. Moving around the edge of the paper, you'll come to the other corner which you can tuck under. You want to create a good seal, because basically, the fish and vegetables are going to steam inside the packet.
  6. Place on a baking sheet and bake 15-20 mins, depending on thickness of fish. If using a grill, just place your foil pack right on the rack.
  7. When the fish is cooked, remove from oven and let sit for a minute, to let the steam dissipate a bit. Depending on the setting, I place the packet on plate and just cut an X in the top of the packet and peel back the paper or foil a bit to expose the goodies inside. Or you can slice open the packet on the side and slide the contents and all the juices onto a plate or shallow dinner bowl. Finish with another hit of lemon juice if you want and enjoy.

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