Sunday Dinner: Halibut en papillote, Mill City Farmer’s Market carrots, Butter leeks

Halibut en papillote, Mill City Farmer’s Market carrots, Butter leeks

This meal is inspired by my dear friend Jeanne Wang’s nature farm wedding celebration in St. Paul. While there I visited the fantastic Mill City Farmer’s Market and brought home some beautiful local vegetables. How better to showcase the vibrant colors and fresh flavors than cooking en papillote!


8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 leek, white and light green parts only, julienned

6 carrots, julienned

1 pint fresh shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons crushed fresh ginger

2 tablespoons grey salt or kosher salt

4 fillets skinless halibut, 8 ounces each

Fresh thyme

Dry white wine

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Parchment paper

Baking sheets


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Before you get cooking…

  • Heat oven to 375° F.
  • Cut eight 15” x 15” sheets of parchment paper.
  • Rinse your fish with cold water and pat dry. Set aside.
  • Julienne the carrots and leeks. Soak the leeks in cold water then drain to remove grit.
  • Slice the mushrooms.


Time to cook!

  • Heat a medium sauté pan to medium-high.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. When you see the butter foam, add the leeks and sauté until translucent. About 2 minutes.
  • Remove the leeks and set aside.
  • Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter just to re-coat the pan, and sauté the carrots for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • Season the halibut fillets well with salt and pepper on both sides.

Now you’re ready to create your first packet of goodness!

  • On a sheet of parchment paper, place a small flat mound (~1/2 cup) of leeks in the middle of the paper.
  • Then place a layer of carrots on the leeks. Follow with a thin layer of the raw mushrooms.
  • To taste, sprinkle a little fresh ginger over the vegetable mound.
  • Carefully place the halibut on the vegetables. Top it off with 2 fresh sprigs of thyme.
  • Drizzle a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over the halibut.
  • Along the edges and over the mound, sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of white wine.
  • Place another sheet of parchment paper over the mound and line up edges with other sheet.
  • Starting at the top right hand corner, fold the paper over itself and fold the edges until they are about 4 inches away from the food.
  • Then at the fold, starting at the end nearest you, fold over the parchment over again in the same way.
  • Continue folding the paper over itself, and firmly twisting them closed until the entire mound is sealed so no moisture can escape.
  • Repeat for all 4 fillets.
  • Place a package or two in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.

Without opening the oven door, see if the packets puff up! That’s a sign it’s working!

  • Remove from the oven and serve immediately en papillote at the table or serve separately.
  • Use a paring knife to cut open the packets. Be very careful of the escaping steam!


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09 2010

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