Dana Slatkin

Halibut Baked in Parchment with Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Lemon Thyme and Parmesan

Children with Squash at Farmers Market

Kids with Pet Squash at Farmers Market

At a farmers market in Kauaii, my kids bonded with these gigantic summer squashes. We thought of calling them pets to get past airport security, but I knew we would find similarly irresistible ones at home. Lately, squash of all shapes and sizes have been hitting our local farmers markets in droves. Whether green, yellow, round, scalloped or crook-necked, summer squashes are a cinch to prepare. Look for glossy, unblemished skins and choose ones that are heavy for their size. They are best stored unwashed in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator, in a plastic bag with air holes. Their edible outer skins, which distinguish them from winter squash varieties, hold up well in almost all types of cooking, but I love them most sautéed, grilled, deep-fried, and steamed as in this wonderfully flavorful fish dish.


If you haven’t tried cooking en papillote, you will be surprised at how much flavor builds inside a simple paper package. Try this recipe with other types of mild, white-flesh fish such as snapper or sea bass, and experiment with whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. A mandoline slicer (see My Top 10 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets) will speed up the preparation to under 10 minutes. I happen to love the rustic presentation of fish and vegetables in their cozy parchment pouch, so don’t even bother to throw away the paper—as it is bound to be licked clean.

For another great summer fish recipe, try Seared Halibut with Roasted Tomatoes, Anchovy-Stuffed Olives and Capers.

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  1. Rick says:

    Sounds really great, but steps 9 and 10 seem to be contradictory. If I slice open the pouch in step 9 how do I perform step 10?

  2. dana says:

    We’ve updated the recipe (Step 10) to reflect your input – Thank you so much!

  3. Michelle says:

    This is fabulous!!

  4. maggie says:

    Hi, I am a Chinese customer,I saw your  website, Do you know the vegetable parchment paper? I don’t find it where to buy it. Can you tell me the vegetable parchment paper’s company website? thanks very much!

  5. dana says:

    Hi, Maggie,

    I found vegetable parchment paper on Amazon: . http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Vegetable-Parchment-Paper-25%C2%BD/dp/B001AQQUTI. It’s available at a big discount, too! THanks for the tip. Hope you like the recipe!

    Best wishes,


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