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31 Aug

Parchment Baked Halibut with Parsley-Spinach Pesto

HalibutampPestoParchment pockets are an easy way to simultaneously cook moist and tender fish, lightly steam veggies, and cut down on the amount of clean up after dinner. You don’t even need plates; just eat right out of the parchment.

With simple cooking methods, however, can come simple flavors. Which is why this parchment-baked halibut is topped with a zinging parsley-spinach pesto. This bold, nutrient-rich pesto is also a delicious way to eat your leafy greens. If you’re not in love with leafy greens in their natural state, or greens don’t show up often enough on your (or on your kid’s) plate, then pesto is the perfect place to hide them.

Spinach is one of the best greens to add to pesto because it hardly changes the flavor at all. Blanching the spinach ups the amount of iron you’ll absorb and also helps keep the color of pesto greener, longer. However, a handful of raw spinach easily blends into pesto as well. So go ahead – whether it’s this refreshing dairy-free parsley pesto or a traditional basil pesto – throw in a handful of greens, even if you have to do it on the sly.

When noodles aren’t in the picture, what else does pesto taste great on? Halibut, for one, and almost all types of other seafood, plus eggs, roasted vegetables, pork, steak, and Primal crackers.

Servings: 2 (with leftover pesto)

Time in the Kitchen: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

ingredients 6
  • 2 6-ounce halibut fillets (or other white fish) (170 g)
  • 1 to 2 bell peppers, cut into thin slices or matchsticks
  • 1 to 2 small yellow squash, cut into thin slices or matchsticks
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 large bunch of parsley, leave plucked or shorn off with a knife. A little bit of stem is okay.
  • 1 tablespoon raw, unsalted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (15 ml)
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (15 ml)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil (60 ml to 120 ml)
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 °F (204 °C).

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Prepare a small bowl of ice water as well.

Blanch the spinach in the boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain. Drop the spinach into the ice water to cool. Drain and squeeze excess water out of the leaves.

Finely chop the spinach and put it in a food processor with the parsley, sunflower seeds, garlic and lemon juice. Process until the parsley is finely chopped. With the blade running, drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Add salt to taste.

Cut two 14-inch squares of parchment paper. (35 cm)

Create a small bed of bell pepper and squash slices in the middle of each paper. Set the fish on top. Season the fish and veggies lightly with salt and pepper.

Step1 4

Spread about 1 tablespoon of pesto on top of each piece of fish.

There are many ways to fold the parchment into sealed pockets around the fish. Here is one:

Fold over 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the paper on the sides that are closest to the short sides of the fish fillets.

Bring together the other two sides of the parchment, over the top of the long sides of the fillets. Fold these sides together twice to seal.

Fold over and crimp the short ends of the paper to seal.

Step2 4

Set the pockets on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until fish is opaque in the middle.

Open the parchment carefully to avoid stem. Garnish the fish and veggies with more pesto and serve.

HalibutampPesto2

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Mark, I have the news letter and I love reading it daily. How do I access the e-book Primal blue book fitness? I really would like to see some of the exercises. Thank you.

    Elizabeth wrote on August 31st, 2013
    • I assume you figured it out, but just in case, click on the menu bar at the top, the label that reads “Freebies”.

      George wrote on August 31st, 2013
  2. wow! so simple! can’t wait to try it!

    PaleoDentist wrote on August 31st, 2013
  3. This looks amazing. Too bad my girlfriend refuses to eat fish!

    Anthony Gustin wrote on September 1st, 2013
  4. I worked at a restaurant that served sea bass like this. It was absolutely amazing. This is a great cooking concept.

    Tom T. wrote on September 1st, 2013
  5. This was easy and delicious! We used redfish and it came out perfectly.

    Emily B wrote on September 1st, 2013
  6. Excited about trying this recipe. Question? Would cooking time change from 10 to 15 minutes if you double the recipe. So would 4 parchments cook in the same time? Hate to let all that steam out to check and then have to put it back.
    thanks.

    Billy wrote on September 3rd, 2013
  7. Great recipe! I love using parchment pockets, en papillote. Saw it first in a MasterChef episode.

    Jon CHew wrote on September 3rd, 2013
  8. I’ve started putting a bit of pesto on every piece of chicken breast I cook now. Makes it taste even nicer, and pesto barely costs anything!

    Nick wrote on September 4th, 2013
  9. This was a really great meal, though I used cashews instead of seeds and added a few extra cloves of garlic and seasoned the fish with a little lemon zest.

    Tony wrote on September 8th, 2013

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