Cooking in parchment or "en papillote" is a classic French technique particularly useful for this time and place in our world.

The method provides a perfect format for tailoring food to a variety of specific appetites without using every pan in your kitchen. Wrap whatever you wish to cook - fish, chicken, and/or veggies in parchment paper, fold the edges to seal, and pop it into the oven. Most parchments are complete in 15 to 20 minutes. You can and should add herbs, spices, sauce, olive oil, butter. Feel free to combine flavors at will, or the will of your dinner partners. Place the parchment on a baking tray, and into the oven. When it comes out, you have a present. 

 This parchment cooking method steams everything in its own juices. All the nutrition stays in, all the flavor stays in and things just marry up and get better. When everyone has enjoyed their yummy, healthy dinner - no pans to wash.

I prefer to use unbleached parchment sheets. You can buy parchment on a roll but it's a little awkward to work with because it wants to curl. It's not the end of the world, but sheets are easier. This dish would be great with pasta, grilled bread, or rice or you can slide some potato slices into the parchment before baking - endlessly versatile!


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.

  2. Toss shrimp with basil olive oil, reserving 1 tsp. for parchment, kosher salt, and chili flakes.Fold parchment sheets in half and coat part of one side with basil olive oil. (You will be placing your ingredients just above the fold in the parchment paper, this is where you want your oil.)

  3. Place lemon slices on top of the olive oil.

  4. Spread 1/4 of your bruschetta mixture on top of the lemons in each packet.

  5. Place shrimp on top of the bruschetta mixture and top with the remaining bruschetta mixture.

  6. Place scallions on top.

  7. Seal parchment by making triangular folds around the sheet until you have formed a packet. Be sure to seal tightly as you do not want the juices to leak out. There are You-tube videos on this if you are a visual learner.

  8. Place on a baking sheet, place in the oven, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

  9. Remove from the oven and let rest 3 to 5 minutes.

  10. Being careful of escaping steam, open packet with scissors or a knife, and enjoy!

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