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Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014 3:03 pm

My favorite component of my cooking passion is sharing recipes with others and teaching people how to be creative in their kitchen endeavors. In preparation for an upcoming class at Draeger’s Market in San Mateo, I was explaining to my girlfriend a fantastic way of cooking fish in parchment paper.

Similar to foil stew that our kids made at summer camp, wrapping fish in parchment with vegetables, olive oil, seasonings and herbs is a splendid approach when faced with some fresh catch.

This cooking technique in Italy is called Cartoccio all’Isolana — cartoccio referring to a paper bag or cone. Baked in the oven together with potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini, it is easy to prepare and solves the problem of a side dish with color, taste and variety.

The vegetables provide moisture and so protect the fish from drying out — creating a tender and flavorful combination! I have made this recipe with fillet of salmon, sea bass and halibut — all with excellent results. You can bake a large fillet or make smaller packages for individual servings, allowing diners to choose their favorite combination of veggies.

Sea Bass in parchment

Servings: 4-6 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

1 1/2 pound sea bass

1 large piece of parchment paper (about 15 by 30-inches)

1 zucchini squash, rinsed and sliced very thin

1 potato, peeled and sliced very thin

1 tomato, rinsed and sliced very thin

1 bell pepper, sliced very thin, optional

1/2 cup olive oil

Juice of one lemon

1 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

4 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped

4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sliced vegetables on the center of the parchment paper. Mix together oil, lemon, salt, pepper and herbs in a small bowl. Sprinkle half the oil mixture over the vegetables, tossing until well-coated. Place the sea bass on the vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining oil mixture. Fold the paper to make a sealed package. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cut parchment with a sharp knife and serve immediately.

— Source: www.atavolatogether.com

Claudia Pruett was raised in Saratoga. She is an entrepreneur, chef and community volunteer and is co-owner of A Travola Together, a Stockton-based company that specializes in regular and gluten-free focaccia, pizza and tortilla mix. She is married to Greg and they have three children. She enjoys cooking for friends and Bikram Yoga.

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