Summer Time Mood

It is the early days of spring, yet it is quite hot today with a gentle breeze blowing through the air. As I sit on the back deck enjoying the weather, I can hear the hum of a lawnmower at work in the neighborhood. All of these triggers are taking me to a place of total relaxation. I don’t feel like cooking a big, heavy meal, just something quick, light and easy that suits my summer time mood -- perhaps fish with some colorful, seasonal vegetables.

I ordered some beautiful thick sea bass and easy peel jumbo shrimp from my local fish delivery friend last week. I love to cook fish with seasonal vegetables in parchment because it is a quick easy technique that produces a delicately steamed, moist fish with perfectly crisp vegetables.

I hope you give these recipes a go, and enjoy a relaxing meal with your family this week. Write me a review if you like, or give me a suggestion for a new recipe you would like to see. I am always looking for inspiration to create something new.

Sea Bass en Papillote with Spring Vegetables and Fresh Herbs

½ pint cherry tomatoes

½ pound fresh green beans

2 cloves crushed garlic

4 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large zucchini thinly sliced

2 large carrots peeled and shredded

1 large red pepper cut into thin slices

1 small shallot finely chopped

¼ cup fresh dill finely chopped

¼ cup fresh basil finely chopped

4 6 to 8 ounce pieces of sea bass

1 large fresh lemon thinly sliced

4 tbsp. white wine

4 tbsp. olive oil

4 tbsp. butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 425°F

In a bowl toss the cherry tomatoes, green beans and garlic with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut 4 pieces of parchment paper the size of a standard baking sheet. Fold each piece in half and cut out a large semi circle so you create a heart shape when you unfold the parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the zucchini, carrots, red pepper, shallot, dill and basil. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Divide the mixture among the prepared parchment pieces, top with the roasted cherry tomato and green beans and a piece of sea bass. Top each parchment piece with the sliced lemons and a tablespoon of white wine. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over each parchment envelope and dot the fish with one tablespoon of butter. Fold the parchment sections in half enclosing the sea bass and vegetables. To seal, start at the top crease of the heart and continue to make small overlapping folds until you have sealed the food completely to form a parchment package.

Place the parchment packages on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until fish is just opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Usually 10 to 12 minutes.

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