Vegetable papillote

Vegetable papillote

Kitchin Suppers
Laura Edwards

Cooking en papillote – in a sealed paper parcel – is such a wonderful way of cooking as it traps the flavours inside. I often cook fish this way, but more recently I’ve applied the same method to vegetables, cooking them in foil. Make sure the foil doesn’t have any holes or the steam and flavours will escape. The parcel should puff out like a balloon in the oven – take it straight to the table for an element of theatre.



Quantity Ingredient
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
1/2 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 lemon, zest finely pared
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig

Vegetable papillote

Quantity Ingredient
olive oil, for cooking
1 carrot, peeled and quartered
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and quartered
8 asparagus spears, trimmed
1 lemon, juiced
6 radishes
1 courgette, quartered lengthways
1/2 head broccoli, divided into florets
2 baby gem lettuces, halved lengthways
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
sea salt
15g butter


  1. For the nage, put all the ingredients into a saucepan and pour on enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes, then strain the liquor through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding the vegetables and flavourings. Set aside.
  2. For the papillote, heat the oven to 200°C. Heat a wide, heavy-based pan and add a splash of olive oil. Add the carrot, fennel and asparagus. Pour on enough vegetable nage to cover, add a squeeze of lemon juice and cook over a high heat for 5–6 minutes. Now add the radishes, courgette, broccoli and lettuce and cook for a further 1 ½ minutes, adding more nage as needed.
  3. Remove the vegetables from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Bring the liquor back to the boil and let bubble to reduce by half. Add the thyme leaves, another squeeze of lemon, a splash of olive oil and a touch of salt. The sauce should have a nice vegetable citrus flavour.
  4. Tear off two large sheets of foil, lay one out on your work surface and fold up the edges. Place a 20 cm round of greaseproof paper in the middle and place the vegetables on top of this. Carefully spoon the cooking liquor over the vegetables. Cover with the other sheet of foil and fold the edges together to make a tightly sealed parcel.
  5. Now carefully lift the papillote into an ovenproof sauté pan and place over a medium heat until the foil starts to puff up. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Open the parcel at the table to get the full effect.
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