Hellooo Summer.

Apparently I missed the memo where we would be diving straight into summer, but unfortunately that seems to be the case as I’ve been having to walk home in 90-degree weather, and it’s not even June yet.

So, what better way to deal with it than to go ahead and start cooking more light summery meals?

I’ve been trying to introduce more fish into our diet, although neither of us are particularly fond of it unless fried or thoroughly breaded. I recently discovered a recipe though that was absolutely fantastic, and wasn’t breaded or fried at all.

This delicious recipe comes from my new favorite cookbook – the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I highly recommend that you all go out and buy it – it’s a fantastic investment.

Summery Fish and Vegetable Packets

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 pound zucchini and/or summer squash (2 medium), sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 tomatoes (1 pound), cored and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh basil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 skinless haddock fillets (6 ounces each), 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • lemon wedges (for serving)
Directions:

Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix the butter, garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest together.

Cut eight 12-inch sheets of foil and spread four of them flat on the counter. Shingle equal portions of zucchini and tomato pieces in the center of each piece. Sprinkle with half of the basil and season with salt and pepper.

Pat the haddock dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Drape the haddock over the vegetables, then dot with the butter mixture and sprinkle with the remaining basil. Drizzle the wine over the fish. Lay a second 12-inch sheet of foil over the top of each stack and crimp the edges together to seal.

Lay the packets on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the fish flakes apart when gently prodded with a paring knife, about 20 minutes.

Lay the sealed packets on individual plates and serve with the lemon wedges.

Click here for an easy to print recipe!: Summery Fish & Vegetable Packets

This recipe is fantastically simple to put together – far easier than any stir fry or other dish I usually do.

The whole thing took me less than 15 minutes to prep and get in the oven – definitely an ideal summer meal!

Stir up the butter mixture…

Shingle out your veggie pieces, sprinkling them with fresh basil, salt and pepper.

Spread your fish overtop (I used cod instead of haddock).

Slather it up with that butter mixture.

Can I have another view of that please?

Thank you.

Ohhh yeah.  Pour some wine over it, and wrap it up in foil.

Hmm… so how do you tell if it’s ready?!

In my past experiences with fish…I’ve found that trusting the cooking time given by the recipe is dead on. I pulled it out at twenty minutes on the dot, and it was tender and falling apart, just like it should be.

Can you smell how delicious this is?

You’ll notice it’s plated just like it was on the foil. This is a great one for impressing guests, because it slides right off the foil and onto the plate, looking pretty as can be, and smelling like buttery-WONDERFULness.

Whew.

In case you couldn’t tell, I absolutely adore this recipe. It was so very different from fish that I usually eat, and it was infused with that tomato-basil-buttery flavor that just melts in your mouth. Even Scott, who has a very low tolerance for fish, pronounced that it had an excellent flavor.

Some tips: 

  • Since fish tends to not reheat well, and these vegetables probably would not either, I halved the recipe to make two servings for Scott and I and it worked out just fine.
  • Even halved, the butter mixture was a little overkill. You can see in the photo how much I put on the fish, and I only used about half of the already-half-size portion I made.
  • Cod, salmon, catfish, bluefish, sea bass, snapper, or Artic char fillets can be substituted for the haddock, according to the ATK cookbook. I used cod and it turned out just fine.
  • The cookbook also recommends serving this dish with a crusty bread or rice to soak up the rest of that delicious sauce, and I agree! A big slice of crusty bread is the perfect complement.

So there you go! Another lovely summer recipe. I’ll go ahead and apologize for this getting posted so late in the evening. I mayyyy or may not have been slightly distracted by watching the season premiere of So You Think You Can Dance, Season 8. Whew.

Happy Thursday, and enjoy!

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