Herbed Cod in a Packet with Lemon Spelt Berry Pilaf and Green Bean Salad

Mediterranean Herbed Cod with Squash in a Packet, Herbed Lemon Spelt Berry Pilaf, Green Beans with Walnuts and vinaigrette, served with a side green salad with cucumbers and creamy dill sauce.

Yesterday, our Cape Ann Fresh Catch CSF brought us fillets of Cod.  I had a lot of squash, green beans and herbs, so I went for an ‘herby european’ meal, borrowing ideas from different cookbooks.  The result was delicious.  It was a light, refreshing and tasty. The cod was baked in a tin foil packet, one of the more fun ways to cook fish.  You simply assemble in foil, fold it, stick it on a baking sheet, bake, and voila, no pan cleaning!

Mediterranean Herbed Cod with Squash in a Packet (serves 4): Idea came from Moosewood Restaurant’s Cooks at Home.

  • 1 pound of cod, cut into 4 even pieces
  • 4 medium-8 small summer squash, washed and sliced into rounds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 10 dark olives (remove pit and chop)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp olive brine
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • pepper as you like


  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Take two big sheets of tin foil (24″ long by 12″ wide) put a little bit of oil down right in the middle of them. Your goal is to make two identical packets. Each containing two servings.
  3. Lay half of the summer squash on each of the sheets, right in the middle.
  4. Lay the fish on top of the squash. Layer the onion, then carrot, then herbs on top.
  5. Put olives on top and sprinkle salt, olive brine and oil and lemon juice over top of the mound.
  6. Mound of veggies, fish and herbs on the tin foil, awaiting folding.

  7. Then fold the packets.  If you have a tried and true method, go for it.  Otherwise:  Fold the two long sides (lengthwise) up over the mound, rolling them together to make a nice airtight fold that fits tightly over the fish mound.  Then take the other sides (width wise) and fold them up and roll them to form a nice airtight fold.  This may be confusing- and it doesn’t have to be hard.  Just fold the edges well so that the juice doesn’t come out and it holds most of the steam on the inside of the tin foil.
  8. Bake the packets at 450F  for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Take out of the oven, let cool for a few minutes.
  10. Carefully open the packets so that you do not burn yourself with steam.
  11. Serve the fish mixture. Enjoy!

The finished baked fish.

Green Beans with Walnuts and Vinaigrette (serves 4): A novel way to enjoy this summer veggie.

  • 1 lbs of green beans, washed and with their stems removed
  • 7 walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup of chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup of cranberry vinegar (or apple cider or balsamic)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a big pot of water to a boil.
  2. While you wait for the water to boil, mix the scallions, vinegar, olive oil, walnuts, basil salt and pepper together in a big bowl.
  3. Once water is boiling, add green beans and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove and rinse with water.
  5. Put into the dressing in the big bowl, mix well.
  6. Chill for 20 minutes.
  7. Serve.

Spelt berries are something still a little novel to me.  We just got them from Wood Prairie Farm, and when cooked they have an extra nutty flavor compared to wheatberries, and a softer texture.  I quite like them. If you don’t have spelt berries, you can use wheat berries, or rice for this pilaf, probably most whole grains, really.

Herbed Lemon Spelt Berry Pilaf: (serves 4)

  • 1 cup of dry spelt berries (you can also use rice or wheat berries)
  • 1 tbsp of cooking oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 small bunch of basil chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp fresh)
  • 1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook spelt berries in 3 cups of water until done, ~40 minutes.
  2. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a big saucepan.
  4. cook onions and garlic on medium for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add turmeric, lemon and soy sauce.
  6. Lower heat and add the herbs.
  7. Add the spelt berries and mix well with the seasonings.
  8. Add ~1/4 cup of water.
  9. Cover saucepan and steam the spelt for about 5 minutes.
  10. Uncover the saucepan and let the spelt cook until a lot of the excess moisture cooks off.
  11. Serve.

Spelt Berry Pilaf- yum!

For dessert, we had the rest of the Cherry-Chocolate-Amaretto Frozen Custard- and oh was it good.

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