“What do you typically make for dinner on a busy weeknight?” is probably the question I am asked most often. My answer depends on the season, but in the cooler months one of my go-tos is to pop fish filets on a sheet pan alongside a quick-cooking vegetable, and season them simply with olive oil, salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. After about 15 minutes in the oven, brightened with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice all over, and served with a hunk of whole grain bread or cooked grain, you have a lovely, tasty meal on the table with just a little effort.
The fish can be any kind, but for it to cook in the same time as a tender vegetable, such as broccoli, green beans or large asparagus, a thicker piece of firm fish, such as salmon, cod or halibut, is optimal. You could also go with a vegetable that takes a bit longer, such as carrots, potato, squash or cauliflower, instead or in addition, you’d just need to give those a head start in the oven. And, of course, you could expand the seasonings as you wish, adding a sprinkle of thyme, paprika or gochugaru, for example.
For this recipe, I built on the simple lemony fish and vegetable formula with an easy but sumptuously flavorful parsley-shallot sauce. All the ingredients for the sauce — heaps of fresh parsley, shallot, mustard, lemon, oil, salt and pepper — are whirred in a food processor until a smooth, creamy, gorgeously green sauce is formed. It comes together in minutes, but it can also be made up to 3 days ahead.
With the sauce spooned luxuriously over the fish and the tender, lightly crisped broccolini alongside, it’s an easy, satisfying answer to the question every cook is asked regularly: “What’s for dinner?”
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Storage Notes: Any leftover sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- 1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh parsley leaves and tender stems (from 1 bunch)
- 1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large bunch broccolini (about 8 ounces), trimmed
- 4 (6-ounce) fillets cod, thoroughly patted dry
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.
In a small bowl of food processor or mini-processor, combine the parsley, shallot, mustard, lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon each, salt and pepper, and pulse until finely chopped. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons of the oil and continue to process, stopping to scrape down the sides if needed, until the mixture is smooth and creamy (if your processor allows for the oil to be drizzled with the motor running, do that). You should see tiny flecks of parsley in the emulsified sauce. Transfer the sauce to a jar.
On a large, rimmed baking sheet, arrange the broccolini in a single layer and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with 1/8 teaspoon of salt, toss to coat, then push the broccolini to one side of the baking sheet. Arrange the fish onto the other side and season with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon each, salt and pepper.
Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork, and the broccolini stems are tender and the tops are lightly crisped.
Divide the fish and broccolini among 4 plates. Top the fish with the parsley sauce and serve right away.
Per serving (1 fish fillet, 2 tablespoons sauce and about 3 stems broccolini), based on 4
Calories: 306; Total Fat: 15 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 73 mg; Sodium: 342 mg; Carbohydrates: 5 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugar: 1 g; Protein: 31 g
This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.
From cookbook author and registered nutritionist Ellie Krieger.
Tested by Olga Massov; email questions to email@example.com.
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