Fish and a Green has been, for the last half-decade, our response to the reality that while I do an exceedingly bad job of handing over the reigns for home-cooked dinners, I also am not the kind of person who can be in charge of dinner every night and still be nice. The tricky part is that the venn diagram of things I’m craving and things Cos feels like cooking after a long day of work doesn’t have a huge overlap. That skinny lil carbavore would make pasta every night if I let him, but I demand the right to stuff my face with vegetables, whether or not I cook. Fish and a Green, though, is something we can both get into.
In theory, the longstanding agreement has been that Cos can pick out whatever fish and vegetables he’s feeling on the nights he makes Fish and a Green, though he always chooses salmon and brussels sprouts. He will never tire of that meal. And somehow, after five years of almost weekly salmon and brussels sprouts, I’m still not tired of it either.
But you know me, I can’t not meddle. Plus we all know the best things always show up when we’re not looking for them, which is how I found Fish and a Green 2.0 this past summer. This trout and baby broccoli sheet pan has everything we love about the OG F&G but better, because: breadcrumbs. All the ingredients bake together on one foil-lined sheet pan and the whole deal takes all of half an hour, start to finish.
The short time and minimal effort are how I justify my veritable hijacking of the one night a week I’m supposed to be not cooking (because I am never not on my bullshit), but those are still only my second favorite things about this meal. My first is its ability to turn a bowl of pasta into a chic and well-rounded dinner fit for company when served alongside cacio e pepe. Chic fish, people, it’s a thing! Or as Alison Roman explains, “It’s easy. It’s impressive. It’s dinner.”
Breadcrumb Trout and Baby Broccoli Sheet Pan, an adapted mashup of 2 Alison Roman recipes*
Serves 4 as a light meal, pairs very nicely with any grain of your choice for a more filling one (though we are partial to this cacio e pepe)
3 or 4 tablespoons butter (3 is enough, 4 is lush af)
1 garlic clove, finely grated or chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (1 tsp dry)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (2 tsp dry)
1 cup breadcrumbs, fresh or panko
Kosher salt, ground pepper, red pepper flakes
1 big bunch (or 2 small bunches) of baby broccoli
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1.25 to 1.5 lbs filleted trout**
1 lemon cut into wedges for serving.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line your biggest baking sheet with foil.
Put the butter, garlic, thyme, and parsley in a small bowl, one you’d use for cereal. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat in 30 second intervals until the butter is melted. Add the breadcrumbs to the bowl and mix, using your hands, until all of the crumbs are saturated. Season with salt and pepper. (Go easier on the salt if using salted butter.)
Rinse the broccoli greens and lightly pat them dry. Place them on the foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes, and toss until the greens are evenly coated with oil and seasoning. Scootch the broccoli greens around the sides of the pan to make room for the salmon.
Season the trout with salt and pepper and place them, skin-side down on the foil-lined baking sheet in the space you’ve made for them. Using your hands, cover the top of the fish with breadcrumbs. Just plaster ‘em on. Bake until the crumbs are bubbling and browned, the fish is cooked through, and the greens are slightly singed. Original recipe suggests 8 to 10 mins baking time; my suggestion is to check at minute 7 or 8 and if the crumbs aren’t browning very well, broil for the remaining 2 to 3 minutes.
Note: If your greens have really thick stalks and still aren’t done at this point, you can always transfer the salmon to a plate and put the greens back in for a few more minutes.
Once everything is cooked to your liking, serve with lemon for squeezing over top.
**A note on bones: I really hate picking them out of my fish as I eat so I pull them all out beforehand with a pair of “kitchen tweezer” (basically a pair of tweezers that have never lived outside the kitchen). You could also ask whoever you’re buying it from to do it. They have done it for me before, both at Whole Foods and another local fish counter.