Maybe this makes me a dork, but I think foil packet cooking is so fun. I always get a kick out of throwing a few ingredients together, folding it all up in foil, and then opening up the packets to find a fabulous meal. (This may be somehow related to the fact that I had over 800 origami cranes hanging from my bedroom ceiling growing up – I just like folding things, I guess!) Aside from the fun of folding up the packets, the other plus of foil packet meals is their simplicity. They require minimal effort but with the right combination of flavors, they can still be totally worthy of serving to company.
I decided to use a Greek flavor profile for this meal, tossing the orzo with spinach, red onion, olives, tomatoes, and topping with a bit of Feta. A simple compound butter including dill, lemon zest, garlic, and red pepper flakes is spread over the fish before cooking and really takes the dish to another level. You can use any type of white fish that you prefer. My favorite is halibut, but cod is a good less expensive option. The packets can be baked in the oven or cooked on the grill, perfect for those hot evenings when you don’t feel like turning on the oven. Enjoy!
Foil Baked Fish Over Orzo
8 ounces orzo
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 large red onion, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
4 ounces kalamata olives, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper
2-3 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled
6 white fish fillets, about 6-8 ounces each (such as halibut, cod, or tilapia)
Fresh dill for garnish
For the compound butter:
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Heat a grill to medium-high. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add the orzo to the pot and cook, according to package directions, until a few minutes shy of al dente. Meanwhile, combine the spinach, onion, tomatoes, olives, and butter in a large bowl. Drain the orzo in a fine strainer. Pour the hot pasta into the bowl with the butter and vegetables and toss gently until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut out 6 large squares of foil, about 12-inches on each side. Divide the orzo mixture evenly between the pieces of foil, placing it over the lower half of each square of foil. Divide the crumbled Feta evenly among each packet, sprinkling over each pile of orzo.
To make the compound butter, combine the butter, garlic, dill, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
Spread a layer of the compound butter over each of the fish fillets. Lay the portions of fish over the orzo. Fold the foil over and crimp the edges together to seal the packets. Place the packets on the heated grill, cover, and let cook for about 12 minutes or until the internal temperature of the fish registers 160˚F on an instant read thermometer. Remove the packets from the grill. Open the packets, being careful to avoid the steam. Sprinkle each serving with a bit of fresh dill. Serve immediately.
easy dinner, fish, pasta
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