Aluminum foil is an easy and always-available alternative to the parchment paper traditionally used for cooking en papillote. As the fish and vegetables bake in their packets, they render a delicious broth that is then poured over the fish at serving time.
4 sea-bass fillets, about 1 inch thick (about 2 pounds in all)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 cup pesto, store-bought or homemade
3 carrots, grated
1 zucchini, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
How to Make It
Heat the oven to 450°. Put four 12-inch squares of aluminum foil on a work surface and brush lightly with cooking oil.
Put a fish fillet in the center of each square of foil. Sprinkle the fillets with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Spread the fish with the pesto. Cover the pesto with the carrots and top with the zucchini. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Gather the foil around the fish and drizzle the fish with the oil and wine. Fold the edges of the foil to make a sealed package. Put the foil packages on a baking sheet.
Bake the fish until just done, about 12 minutes. Open the foil packages and transfer the fillets with their vegetable topping to plates. Pour the juices over the top.
Fish Alternatives: You can use other small, flat, white fish fillets, with or without the skin, such as red snapper, pompano, or striped bass.
Wine Recommendation: The assertive flavors and acidity of a sauvignon blanc will work particularly well with the pesto here. Choose one from the Alto Adige region of Italy, or try a more aggressive version from New Zealand.
Quick From Scratch Fish & Shellfish
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I found this recipe at the last minute, and decided to use what I had on hand. I only had baby carrots, too small to grate, so I chopped them into small pieces. Also didn't have zucchini, so I chopped fresh green beans to the same consistency as the carrots. The vegetables came out al dente, and the flavors and textures made a fantastic meal. I'll definitely make this again.