“…we rent a summer house in the south of France…”
This was a snippet of conversation we overheard last week, and we were immediately swoony with jealousy.
Ah, la belle France. One of us is lucky enough to have been a few times; one of us deeply longs to go.
In Paris, what is ubiquitous is also somehow glamorous. The tiny tables and rattan chairs that mark every corner café. The silver dish of sliced baguette, the little pot of tangy butter; the glass tumblers and the small pitcher of vin de table. The dark coffee that is uniformly fragrant no matter how pedestrian the venue.
In Nora Ephron’s 2009 film, “Julie and Julia,” the richest love affair is between Meryl Streep’s Julia Child and France itself. Child’s giddy delight in her first taste of sole meunière, her exhilaration upon seeing her tattered but elegant Parisian apartment, her expansive joy in shopping the array of fresh edibles in the markets…these things give the movie its magic.
Below is our tribute to Julia Child and to summers in France. Set up a table on your front porch. Or your condo balcony. Slice your baguette thinly and have lots to mop up the jus. Sip cold wine from a little glass. And bon appétit!
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
Lay one fillet halfway down the parchment square and season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Toss mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini with herbs, shallot, and remaining olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Pile a heaping spoonful of the summer vegetable mixture on and around the fish. Drizzle with lemon juice and top with lemon slice.
Fold the parchment over the fish so the parchment edges touch, then continue making small continuous folds until you have a crescent shaped package, tightly sealed.
Repeat with remaining fillets and the remainder of the summer mixture.
Place packets on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Makes 4 servings