fish en papillote

20 Apr

flounder with turnip and fennel

Fish en papillote (fish in parchment paper) is a very simple and healthy way to cook fish (or steam cook almost anything).  What I like about this dish is that you can adjust what you are cooking based on the season. It’s early spring, so I wanted to use some vegetables that are found around this time.  Turnips are in season right now and have a relatively mild flavor, which works well with the flounder because they soak up the buttery flavor of the fish.  Fennel is found from fall through summer.  It has a very strong anise flavor, and since this dish only has a few ingredients, it adds another dimension to the turnips and flounder.

First step is to cut out the parchment paper in the correct shape.  It’s basically like making an old-fashioned valentine. Fold a large piece of parchment paper in half. Cut out half of a heart shape. When you open up the parchment paper, it will look like a heart.  Don’t have parchment paper on hand?  Use foil.

Cut the tops off the fennel (but save them for later) and remove the core.  Thinly slice the fennel into even pieces.  Chop turnips into small pieces.  Everything needs to be cut into relatively the same thickness in order to cook evenly. Line up the fennel slices in the center on one half of the parchment paper. Place fish on top of fennel and sprinkle turnips and fennel tops ovn fish.  Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over fish and veggies.

Once you have the ingredients on the paper, fold paper over to close the heart shape and start at the corner by rolling the edges inward to seal the pouch.  It might take a few tries until you get the hang of it. Once packet is sealed, place in 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until fish is cooked through.

Serve alone or with mixed greens and thinly sliced red onion dressed in olive oil and salt.

Grocery Bill:

  • 2 flounder filets (wild caught in the US)  $4.00
  • 1 small fennel bulb    $0.97
  • 1 turnip $0.79 (so inexpensive-and you won’t even use the whole thing.
  • 1 bag of local mesclun lettuce (local, purchased in the bulk section of the produce. You can also get it at the farmer’s market) $2.08
  • 1/2 red onion (organic), thinly sliced $0.72

Grand Total: $8.56

Happy Cooking!


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