This is another recipe from the Barefoot Contessa’s new cookbook, Make It Ahead. It is very easy, nutritious and, of course, you can make it ahead. If you aren’t adept at making a good seal with the parchment paper packets, use a stapler!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use fresh lemon juice because the concentrates contain sodium benzoate. I use President’s Choice garlic-stuffed olives.

Place fish on parchment and add seasonings and olives

The fish will steam inside the parchment and be done in about 15 minutes

Herb-roasted fish


4 12 x 16-inch (30 x 40 cm) pieces of parchment paper

4 8-ounce (250 g) boneless fish fillets, such as snapper or cod

2 teaspoons (10 ml) kosher salt

1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 tablespoons (60 ml) good olive oil

8 large sprigs fresh thyme

8 large green olives with pits

2 egg whites, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).

Place one fish fillet on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle it with ¼ of the salt and ¼ of the pepper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon (15 ml) each of the lemon juice and olive oil over the top of the fillet. Lay two sprigs of thyme on top and place 2 olives next to the fillet. Repeat with the other three fish fillets.

Brush the egg whites around the edges of the parchment paper and fold in half. Carefully fold the edge of the parchment paper under and around the fish to make a package. Repeat for the other three packages. You can prepare the packages and refrigerate for up to one day. When ready to cook, place the package on a sheet pan and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Serve hot in the parchment paper. Serves 4.

From the Barefoot Contessa’s Make It Ahead