Toggle navigation

Fish baked in paper with tomatoes and olives


Photo - Dave King/

These fragrant fish parcels are tasty, healthy and quick. And as a bonus, there’s no washing up!


Cooking fish en papillote sounds much more glamorous than cooking in a bag, but however you say it, seafood steamed in its own parcel of flavours and juices is low-fat and delicious. 


Experiment with all kinds of flavourings. Try sliced fennel and oranges with the black olives. Or replace the tomatoes with strips of roasted capsicum and a sprinkling of dried oregano. You might want to serve the fish straight from the oven and let the family unwrap their own parcel: the cloud of fragrant steam that emerges is one of the treats of cooking en papilotte.


What you need

4 white fish fillets

8 black olives, pitted and sliced

4 roma tomatoes, sliced, or a punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 lemon, sliced

handful of Italian parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


What to do

Heat the oven to 220. Cut four large squares of baking paper.

Lay a fish fillet on each square of baking paper. Share out the tomatoes, olives, lemon slices and parsley over each one. Drizzle carefully with a little olive oil.

Fold the parcels up and seal as tightly as you can, rolling the fold twice to stop steam from escaping.

Slide the parcels on to a flat baking tray. Bake thin fillets like dory for 10 minutes, thicker fillets like snapper or blue eye for 15 minutes.

Carefully open the parcels and serve on to warm plates, with the sauce drizzled over. This is especially good with steamed kipfler potatoes or steamed rice and crunchy green beans or broccolini.

3 more ways with olives

Olive tapenade

Crush and remove the seeds from two cups of kalamata olives. Put them in a food processor with a tablespoon of rinsed salted capers and three anchovies then whizz, dribbling in two tablespoons of olive oil. Stir in the juice of half a lemon, to taste. Serve on bruschetta, or mix into hot pasta, and add fresh parsley, grated parmesan and a whirl of fruity olive oil.


Photo - 


Olive and mango salsa

To a chopped mango, add sliced black olives, chopped cherry tomatoes, chopped mint and coriander leaves, and snipped red chilli to taste. Mix with lime juice and let sit for a while before serving with barbecued chicken thighs.


Carrots and olives

Slice peeled carrots into rounds. Fry in a little olive oil until starting to colour, then put a lid on, turn the heat down and cook slowly until tender. Turn the heat back up, add a chopped garlic clove and a handful of sliced black olives and cook until the carrots are lightly caramelised and the garlic is fragrant.


Text: Robin Powell

About this article

Author: Robin Powell