I am a huge fan Patricia Well’s and proudly own all her books. Her recipes are usually easy to follow and never disappoint. Every time I serve something from this Provence cookbook whether it be Gratin Dauphins (which is in my blog) to this amazing fish dish and her amazing almond tart recipe guests are pleasantly surprised. This fish dish I have made a dozen or more times and each time I substitute it with new ingredients depending on availability and what I have on hand. The original recipe calls for whole sea bass and I have since tried cod, sole, and halibut. All are perfect for this recipe only change would be to reduce baking time for thinner fish.
FISH IN PARCHMENT WITH WARM PISTOU
(inspired by Patrica Well’s at home in Provence)
Preheat oven to 450F
2 pounds cod fillets – cut into 1/4 pound servings
1/2 cup pistou (*recipe below)
8 whole bay leaves
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 can drained cannel beans
8 lemons – halved, seeds removed
8 baby to medium heirloom carrots – sliced in thin 1 1/2” slivers (see photo)
1 cup of shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced
1 medium onion thinly sliced
1 cup of white wine
4 garlic cloves minced
salt & pepper
large cookie sheet
parchment paper (I actually found precut paper at Whole Foods in the perfect size for this dish)
In a large cast-iron sauté pan add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute onions over medium heat until translucent.
Add in carrots, mushrooms and a little white wine so it does not dry out.
Sauté until mushrooms are cooked and carrots are al dente, keep adding a little white wine during the process then add in garlic, salt and pepper.
Turn off heat and set aside.
*PISTOU: OLIVE OIL, BASIL& GARLIC SAUCE
8 garlic cloves pealed and minced
4 cups basil leaves (or a mix of basil, parsley and pea shoots)
1 cup of olive oil
In a food processor: Add the garlic, salt, and herbs and process to a paste. And olive oil and process again…test for additional seasoning.
Pour in a measuring cup and set aside.
The sauce can be stored refrigerated for a day or frozen for up to 6 months.
Cut baking parchment paper to approximately double the size of fillets. (or if you find the precut ones, Yippee!).
You will prepare each wrapping one at a time. Brush a little of the pistou on first, add fish then top with 1/4 cup of onion mixture, 2 tablespoons of beans, bay leave, 4-5 cherry tomatoes and finish with another 2 tablespoons on top. Salt & pepper.
To seal the package, plait or crimp fold the parchment to form a neat package. You want to leave a little air to allow it to steam.
Place on a baking sheet, it is OK for them to be touching each other.
Place in center of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. While fish is cooking, sear lemon haves on a grill or broil cuts side up on oven til brown.
Remove from oven and carefully open each package a (careful as they will be hot).
Place on dinner plates and garnish with pea shoots, parsley or basil, lemon half and top with a drizzle of the pistou.
Bon Appétit 🇫🇷