We’ve got quite a collection of cookbooks here at home…an everyday pleasure I seem to have passed on to my daughter. On spring break, Jane tagged a few recipes she wanted to make for family dinner and this parchment-baked fish from Giada De Laurentiis’ book, Happy Cooking, turned out to be one of the best things we’ve eaten in a long time!
Fennel is always great with fish and this combo with kale and orange is outstanding…restaurant-quality good. We used “true cod” from the Co-Op, but any flaky white fish will work great. Parchment may seem fancy but it is really the easiest way to cook fish, practically no mess or clean up. And you can assemble the packets up to a few hours in advance and keep them refrigerated until you want to bake and serve.
Start with a big piece of parchment paper (not waxed paper), about 16″, fold it in half and cut out a rounded half-heart like a valentine. Place the veggies and orange slices just off center, top with a fish fillet, sprinkle of salt and drizzle with olive oil. Here’s a little quick inspiration for crimping the edges nice and tight:
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’ “Fennel Snapper in Parchment” from Happy Cooking; Make Every Meal Count without Stressing Out. For another parchment fish idea, check out my “Present Fish” that uses potato slices, olives, lemon and oregano.
Parchment-Baked Fish with Fennel, Kale and Orange Slices
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis "Fennel Snapper in Parchment"
- 4 flaky white fish fillets, about 6 oz. each "true cod", snapper or other super fresh fish
- 1 bunch tuscan kale ("dino kale") ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
- 1 bulb fennel halved, cored and thinly sliced
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
- 12 navel orange slices from about 1 1/2 oranges
- 1/2 tsp fennel pollen
Preheat oven to 425° F. Cut 4 large pieces of parchment paper into 16" diameter hearts by folding each piece in half and using scissors to cut half a heart. Unfold and set aside.
In medium bowl, toss together the kale, fennel, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Open the parchment hearts and just off-center, layer 2 orange slices, a mound of the veggies, fish fillet, sprinkle of salt, fennel pollen (or fronds, both optional...use what you have), drizzle with olive oil, and top with 1 orange slice.
Wash and dry your hands so that you can seal the hearts clean and tight with little folds. Start at the rounded top of the heart and fold over the edge twice and crimp with your fingernail against work surface. Move down and make another fold about every 1–1½ inches, each double-fold overlapping the last, all the way around the edge of each heart and finish by twisting the end at the point.
Place packets on a rimmed sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until packets are slightly brown and puffed. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Serve packages directly on plates so each person can cut theirs open at the table.