Tonight's Dinner: Halibut with Potatoes and Green Beans

Our great friends, Lisa and George, came over for dinner earlier this week.  In addition to being simply wonderful people, they're also great cooks and we enjoy sharing recipes with each other.  My husband and I always take the opportunity to try new dishes when they come over.  This week I made Cooking Light's Halibut en Papillote with Potatoes, Green Beans, and Sweet Onions. 

If you're curious what "en Papillote" means, like I was, translated from French to English it's literally "in parchment."  En Papillote is a method of cooking in which the food is put into a folded pouch and then baked, usually using parchement paper.

I admit I'm not much of a fish fan.  Usually my husband takes care of the fish on the smoker or grill, so this was my first time baking it.  I give this recipe 5 stars, two thumbs up, and a big hallelujah! It was cooked perfectly, seasoned well, and very tasty.  If an amateur like me can have success with this dish, anyone can.  Recipe below.

We have some more friends coming over tonight.  They just announced they're pregnant and we're going to have a casual celebration where they can witness our 9-month old making a mess with her dinner -- it's always good to get a preview of what's to come.  We're making a pregnant-healthy meal of Salmon Burgers on whole wheat sandwich thins with sweet potato fries and veggies. I can't wait for dinner! 

Halibut en Papillote with Potatoes, Green Beans, and Sweet Onions
Cooking Light 2009

The olive oil is infused with lemon flavor during cooking, which is then used in the dressing for the veggies. Cook the potatoes and green beans while the fish bakes.


  • 8  thin (1/4-inch) slices lemon
  • 4  fresh bay leaves (optional)
  • 4  (6-ounce) halibut fillets
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2  tablespoons  extravirgin olive oil, divided
  • 12  ounces  small new potatoes, quartered
  • 6  ounces  green beans, trimmed
  • 2  tablespoons  white wine vinegar
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
  • 1  teaspoon  Dijon mustard
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 1  cup  thinly sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion


1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Cut 4 (15 x 24–inch) pieces of parchment paper and fold in half, like a book. Draw a large heart half on each piece with the fold being the center of the heart. Cut out heart, and lay it open.
3. Lay 2 slices of lemon in the center of 1 side of each piece of parchment; top with 1 bay leaf, if desired, and 1 halibut fillet. Sprinkle fillets evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle each fillet with 3/4 teaspoon olive oil. Fold other side of heart on top. Starting at the top of the heart, fold up both edges of parchment, overlapping the folds as you move along. Twist the end tip to secure tightly.
4. Place parchment packets on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes. Remove from oven; let rest for five minutes.
5. Cook potatoes in boiling water 8 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender. Add green beans to pan; cook 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain well; keep potatoes and green beans warm.
6. Working with one packet at a time, carefully open fish packets and pour liquid from packets into a large bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, vinegar, juice, mustard, garlic, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper; stir well with a whisk. Add potatoes, beans, and onion to oil mixture; toss well to coat. Divide vegetable mixture evenly on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 fillet.