Here's a post that's short and sweet. You see, today is a holiday for us here in Christchurch; it is a glorious, sunny, spring day; and, I need to spend a bit of time outside instead of at the desk. These fish parcels, although I actually made them a couple of weeks ago, would be the perfect meal for a day like this - they are light, fresh, and incredibly healthy; they are easy to make just for one (as I did) or make for a crowd; you don't need to be too fussy with quantities; and they can be prepared at least a couple of hours in advance.
This recipe came from the August 2004 edition of ABC Delicious magazine, though I did make a few small changes. I put some thinly sliced fennel into the parcels, instead of the zucchini which was called for in the original recipe - I love the "aniseed" flavour of fennel, and I especially love it with fish - I thought it was a great success here, but I'm sure the zucchini would also be good. I also simplified the process a bit - instead of mixing olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, herbs and seasonings together to make a dressing, I just drizzled and sprinkled directly over the fish - why dirty a bowl?
So, enough said - I'm going to let the pictures do the talking - I urge you to try this simple, flavourful dish. Meanwhile, I'm off to enjoy the sunshine.
Olive & Herb Fish Parcels
Adapted from a recipe by Valli Little
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
For each serving you will need:
generous handful of baby spinach leaves
1 boneless, skinless fillet of firm-fleshed fish (I used groper)
thinly sliced fennel bulb or zucchini
handful of black olives
To dress the fish:
extra virgin olive oil
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated lemon zest
garlic, finely chopped
fresh mint, finely chopped
fresh basil, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F).
For each serving cut a sheet of tin foil approximately 30cm (12 inches) square, and a sheet of baking paper the same size. Lay them out on your work bench with the baking paper on top of the foil.
Place a good handful of spinach leaves in the centre of each square.
Place a fish fillet on top of the spinach.
Arrange sliced fennel on top of the fish.
Remove stones from the olives (please don't buy already pitted olives - removing the stones is hardly an arduous task and the flavour is so much better), and distribute a generous handful over the top of the fennel.
Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Drizzle over freshly squeezed lemon juice, and sprinkle over some freshly grated lemon zest and finely chopped garlic.
Lastly, sprinkle over the freshly chopped herbs.
Seal up the parcel, place on an oven tray, and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through - it is done when it flakes easily when tested with a fork.
To serve, open up the parcel and drizzle with just a little more extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. I also served this with some crispy potatoes and a fresh salad. I don't remember exactly, but I'm almost certain that a glass or two of Wither Hills sauvignon blanc may well have accompanied this.
I'm submitting this post to Magazine Mondays - mmmm, can't wait to see what else is cooking. You can find last week's round-up here at "I'll Have What She's Having".