If you’re nervous about cooking fish, this fennel snapper in parchment is a great way to ease your anxiety. This style of cooking fish, called “fish en papillote” (French for “fish in paper”), insulates the fish for perfect doneness and infuses it with tons of flavor.
Fennel Snapper in Parchment
For the vegetables:
- 1 small bunch of Tuscan kale sliced thin
- 1 small head of fennel halved, core removed and sliced thinly
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 oranges thinly sliced into 12 slices
For the fish:
- 4 6 ounce skinless, filets of snapper, or other flakey fish.
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel pollen or ground fennel seed divided
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- Parchment paper
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut 4 large pieces of parchment paper into 4√ó14- inch hearts by folding the paper in half and cutting half of a heart shape, making a valentine, as you've likely done as a child. Set aside. In a medium bowl, toss together the kale, fennel, kosher salt, and olive oil.
- Open the hearts so that the tips are toward you. Place two slices of orange on the right side of each heart, close to the center. Divide the vegetable mixture on top of the orange slices. Place a piece of fish on top of each mound and season each fillet with salt and fennel pollen. Drizzle evenly with the olive oil.
- Top each fillet with one slice of the remaining orange. Close the heart to make a half heart, and rotate it so the mound is facing you and the tip is pointed away. Begin to make small folds, each one overlapping the last, around the edge of the package to seal the edges. When you get to the tip, fold the remaining point under the packet.
- Place the packets on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the packet is slightly brown and puffed. Remove from the oven and, using scissors or a small paring knife, carefully cut open the top of each packet, as the steam will escape. Serve in the parchment for easy cleanup.