Cod with Tarragon and Vegetables
Cod with Tarragon and Vegetables is a version of the classic French dish, Fish en Papillote, which means Fish in Paper. This is where you roast or steam fish in Parchment Paper. You can also use foil instead of parchment paper, as we do in this version since many home cooks don’t keep a roll of parchment around. The parchment or foil traps the steam so the fish and vegetables cook in their own juices. The tarragon adds a flavor unlike any other herb. It compliments seafood so well, you find it in many French fish recipes, and throughout Europe.
The vegetables you use are up to you, but you typically use carrots, celery, mushrooms and asparagus, which is what we use in our version. You just don’t want to use vegetables which will overpower the flavor of the delicate fish. You also want the tarragon flavor to come through gently. Try the recipe several ways as well as using parchment instead of foil to see which way you prefer.
Depending on how large a cod fillet you buy, you can divide it into 4 servings and make 4 packets, dividing the vegetables evenly. You might add a bit more tarragon if you wish since its this flavor which makes the dish come alive.
Makes 2-3 Servings
1 Large Cod Fillet, About 1 to 1 ½ Pounds (Or Other Firm White Fish) If you can’t find a whole fillet, then use 4 cut fillets
1 Teaspoon Kosher Flake Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Crushed Dried Tarragon
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
¾ Cup Celery, Chopped Into ½” Pieces
1 Cup Carrots, Thin Sliced
4 Asparagus Stalks, Cut into ½” to ¾” Pieces
1 Cup Mushrooms Chopped Into ½” Pieces. We use white button since they hold their firmness when cooked.
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Rough Chopped
1 Tablespoon Butter Cut into 4 Small Pieces
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut cod fillet lengthwise then in half for 4 pieces. Arrange the cod side-by-side on two sheets of foil. Season each fillet evenly with the salt and pepper. Divide the tarragon and evenly sprinkle on each fillet. Drizzle the lemon juice on the fillets. Add some of the chopped vegetables and parsley to each package. Add the butter to each package. Fold the foil over and crimp it, leaving a bit of space so the steam can gather. If you use parchment, it will puff up as the steam cooks the fish and vegetables.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Check doneness after 30 minutes. Cook another 5 minutes if needed or if you like your vegetables cooked a bit more. Serve as a package, slitting the foil open on the top, or unfolding and rolling back. If you serve with a side dish as we do sometimes, plate the fish, spooning the vegetables on top of the fish.