Weeknight Technique: Roast Fish and Vegetables

Quick roast fish solves two problems. Since many fish fillets are delicate and easily fall apart when turned, roasting eliminates the turning step.  With this roasting technique you simply arrange the fish fillets on a rimmed baking sheet and roast. And since the vegetables roast alongside the fish, it’s a complete meal in one pan. Dinner (and cleanup more importantly) doesn’t get much simpler than this.

Turning on the oven after the fish and vegetables go in the oven means the element is in preheat mode almost the entire time, essentially creating one gigantic sauté pan. You get succulent, fully cooked fish and golden, crisp tender vegetables effortlessly in about 15 minutes.

Arrange the fish and vegetables in a single layer, then lightly oil and season them. Shove the pan in the oven and turn it on. While the fish and vegetables cook, chop some post-roast fresh herbs for sprinkling or make a quick relish. Sit down and enjoy a first-course salad. There’s nothing to do. In just fifteen minutes, dinner is ready–effortlessly.

This technique works well with fish fillets, but you can also cook salmon, swordfish, and tuna in the same way. Simply increase the roasting time by a few minutes.

I’ve featured some of the more popular vegetables the recipes here, but just about any one will work as long as you prep it small to medium size so that it cooks through by the time the fish is done and you toss with a little oil and season them with salt and pepper.

Quick Roast Fish, Green Beans, and Tomatoes with Lemon and Fresh Herbs

Serves 2

*Tarragon is stronger than other herbs, so don’t use more than a couple of  teaspoons, making up the difference with parsley.

3/4 pound fish fillets such as trout, sole, catfish, talapia, red snapper, cod, or turbot fillets
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and ground white pepper
2 tablespoons your favorite fresh herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, tarragon*)
1 lemon, quartered

Spray a large (12- by 18-inch) rimmed baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Lay fish, green beans, and tomatoes in a single layer on cookie sheet. Drizzle with the oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Shake pan to evenly distribute. Set pan on bottom oven rack and turn oven to 400 degrees. Bake until fish is opaque and vegetables are tender-crisp, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle herbs evenly over fish. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Quick Roast Fish, Asparagus, and Potatoes with Lemon-Caper Drizzle

Serves 2

Lemon-Caper Drizzle really dresses up this fish. To make, simply mix 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons each: chopped fresh parsley and dill, 2 tablespoons capers and 2 teaspoons caper juice, 1 thinly sliced scallion, and 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest. Drizzle any leftovers over tomorrow’s vegetables.

3/4 pound fish fillets such as trout, sole, catfish, or talapia, red snapper, cod, or turbot fillets
8 ounces each: snapped asparagus and thickly sliced red boiling potatoes
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Spray a large (12- by 18-inch) rimmed baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Lay fish, asparagus, and potatoes in a single layer on cookie sheet. Drizzle with the oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Shake pan to evenly distribute. Set pan on bottom oven rack and turn oven to 400 degrees. Bake until fish is opaque and vegetables are tender-crisp, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from oven. Spoon optional Lemon-Caper Drizzle over fish and vegetables and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

5 Comments

  1. says

    Looks yummy…trying it this weekend! Haven’t tried a recipe yet that wasn’t delicious:) Ooohh ~ think I’ll make your lemon bars for dessert!!

  2. Amy says

    This technique is one of the first ones I tried after getting the Perfect Recipe to Lose Weight book. It’s incredibly easy and extremely tasty. I find it amazing that it works as well as it does. It encouraged me to put fish on the menu on a much more regular basis. Thank you for the new variations-I am looking forward to trying the lemon-caper drizzle.

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