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Parchment Perfection

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I’ve been thinking about baking fish in parchment for a few months now, and last week I finally took the plunge. It’s actually quite simple, so I don’t know what I was waiting for! I did find some tips that suggest cutting the parchment into a heart shape and making small folds and twists, which I found worked much better than just folding it onto itself. And other than that little complicated bit, you can pretty much put together whichever ingredients you would normally cook with fish. I particularly like this combination of flavors:

Halibut en Papillote  (serves 1-2)

  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 1 filet of halibut
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 shallot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • small handful of parsley, coarsely chopped
  • small handful of basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut a large piece of parchment, about 17×11, and fold in half from left to right. Cut a large heart shape, with the fold as the middle of the heart.


Coat a small sauté pan with olive oil spray and heat over a medium flame. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until somewhat softened, about 5 minutes.

Place the zucchini rounds on the right side of the heart. Coat the filet with olive oil, salt and pepper and lay on top of the zucchini. Top with the parsley and basil, then the shallots and garlic, and finally the lemon slices.

photo 3

Fold the left side of the heart over the fish and make small, overlapping folds along the edges. Once sealed along the sides, carefully lift up and pour the wine into the parchment. Twist the point of the heart together and carefully move to a baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove and wait about a minute to open the parchment.

photo 4

I served this over some farro with sautéed tomatoes, basil and parmesan. You can make the farro while you prep and cook the fish. Once it’s cooked through, add in the tomatoes and a touch of olive oil and saute over low heat until the fish is ready. Before serving, add the basil and parmesan and stir for about 30 seconds until the cheese has melted. Serve in a shallow pasta bowl.


Using a large, wide spatula transfer the contents of the parchment (minus the lemons) on top of the farro. Serve immediately.

I had a glass of the wine that I used in this recipe, the Husch 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. It was actually a half bottle, which I usually purchase when using the wine for cooking. But I also love Husch wines so I was happy to sample some of it with my dinner – and it paired quite nicely!

About Kelsey

Kelsey is a food and wine lover residing in Napa, California, where she does marketing for a boutique wine collective. She previously lived in San Francisco for over six years, where her blogging journey began. She loves to cook seasonal meals and experiment with new wine pairings. She has been drinking and learning about wine with her father since she was 14, and cooking in the kitchen with her mother since she was 6. Both of her parents taught her well about seasoning and flavors, and she continues to learn more with every meal that is made.

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