Audrey Hepburn’s son, Luca Dotti, has created an instant classic in his new book, Audrey at Home. For those of us who love Audrey Hepburn from afar, Dotti’s intimate portrayal of his mother through the many rich chapters of her life – from Hollywood to Rome, Switzerland to Somalia – is constructed in just the way you’d hope, with stories, family photos and Audrey’s own recipes that provide a charming glimpse at the life of a woman so many of us revere.
The recipe below for Sea Bass en Papillote comes from Dotti’s chapter all about his mother’s time spent in Turkey. Audrey spent a summer on a yacht off the coast of Istanbul, where they would often visit a famous restaurant named Pandeli. It was the summer the author’s father met Audrey and this recipe was one of the restaurants famed dishes…
Pandeli’s Sea Bass en Papillote
20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
A few sprigs each fresh parsley and basil leaves, finely chopped
4 potatoes, boiled, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
8 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sea bass fillets, approximately 2¼ lbs total
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Mix the cherry tomatoes with the shallot, parsley and basil. You will need 8 sheets of aluminum foil. Set out 4 sheets. On each sheet, prepare a bed with potato slices and the thyme sprigs; lay a sea bass fillet on the potatoes and thyme; and then top each fillet with salt, pepper and the chopped tomato mixture. Enclose each “packet” with the second sheet, being careful to seal each well so that no sauce escapes, but leaving room above the fish so it won’t cling to the foil.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Carefully open the packets directly at the table when you serve the fish.
Sea bass in parchment, like other white fish with firm flesh, can also be prepared whole. In this case, you can stuff the fish with a combination of chopped olives, capers, garlic and some herbs that have been moistened with olive oil and white wine. Bake at 400ºF for at least 30 minutes.
This recipe is lovely, but you’ve got to get your hands on the whole book. Find Luca Dotti’s, Audrey at Home, here.