What a fun and healthy way to enjoy fresh fish! If your family likes Mediterranean flavors, I guarantee they will love this light, healthy dinner.
The recipe comes from Michael Chiarello, who used swordfish and red onions, two things my kids do not like. I adapted the recipe using vegetables and fish that we like - you can do likewise. Served with a side dish of Sauteed Spinach with Garlic, this was a delicious dinner.
Mediterranean Lunchbag Cod
1 can San Marzano whole tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano (I did not use)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup (1 small) minced red onion (optional - I didn't use)
2 tablespoons rinsed, drained capers
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
12 pitted and sliced kalamata olives
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, well-drained (my addition)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
pinch dried crushed red pepper flakes
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 pound dried linguine
4 brown paper lunch bags or 4 large sheets parchment paper
4 (6-ounce) portions of fresh cod
freshly grated Parmesan cheese or Feta cheese, if desired
Put sliced tomatoes in a large bowl and season with pepper. Add parsley, garlic, onion, capers, peppers, olives, artichoke hearts, lemon juice, crushed red pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Stir gently just to mix and set aside.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook linguine until al dente. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Reserve.
To cook the fish: Place a small square of parchment or waxed paper at the bottom of each paper bag. Using tongs, place equal portions of the linguine in each of the bags. Top with a spoonful of the tomato-vegetable sauce. Lay a piece of fish on top and top with another spoonful of sauce. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Fold over the tops of the bags, place them on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes.
To serve, transfer the bags to 4 dinner plates and let each diner cut open the package to enjoy the aromas. Or, if your family is appalled at the sight of a lunch bag on their dinner plates (as mine was), cut open the bags yourself and gently slide each portion out onto a dinner plate.
Top with cheese if you must.
Recipe and photo credit: Michael Chiarello. Recipe ingredients and instructions were changed somewhat by yours truly.