Quick roast fish solves two problems. First, because 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 second, because the vegetables roast alongside the fish, it's a complete meal in one pan. There's no thinking about what else to have. Dinner (and, more important, cleanup) doesn't get much simpler than this.
Turning on the oven after the fish and vegetables go into it 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 15 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 have specified vegetables for each recipe, but they are very interchangeable. And so many vegetables work as long as you toss with a little oil and season them with salt and pepper.
*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
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
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.