easy, fun, healthy and tasty: sea bass en papillote
‘En papillote’ is an old cooking method, used mainly for fish and vegetables. The ingredients are sealed into a parcel, then baked, allowing them to steam during cooking. This is a simple way of getting the pure, natural flavour of fish and vegetables. Adding fresh herbs is always a good idea, as they release beautiful aromas to the dish. You can use almost any fish with this method: sea bass, mackerel, sea bream, salmon or cod. Just note that the thicker the fish fillet, the more time it will need to cook.
I have created this sea bass en papillote dish as a simple, summery dish, ideal for parties and dinners with friends or family. The vegetables can be cooked in advance, so that all you need to do is just add the fish, wrap everything in waxed paper and bake for 10 minutes. For this dish I used courgettes, lime, dill and asparagus, as I wanted a ‘sea bass and greens’ theme. Other vegetables such as mushrooms, carrots or potatoes could also be used, in various combinations. I particularly like a combination of carrots, ginger, courgette, thyme and lemon.
Traditionally, dishes cooked ‘en papillote’ are served as they are, by placing the parcels on the guests’ plates, at the table. It is fun and entertaining, as the guests get to open their own parcels – like unwrapping tasty gifts.
Sea Bass en Papillote
- 2 fillets of sea bass
- 2 courgettes sliced
- a bunch of asparagus tips
- 4 springs of fresh dill
- 1 lime
- black pepper
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
- Cut some slashes on to the skin side of each sea bass fillet, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Fry the courgette slices and the asparagus tips in olive oil, on medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt. Transfer half of the quantity on a large sheet of baking paper. Add half of the dill and 4 round slices of lime. Add one fillet of sea bass on top. Sprinkle some olive oil. Close the baking paper into a parcel, making sure that the paper does not touch the fish. Repeat with the remaining fish and vegetables.
- Place the parcels on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.