Life Style

Easy Monday meal: white fish and parsnip tray bake

A tray bake is one of the easiest things you can make. All you have to do is cut your vegetables and season them if necessary – and the oven will do the rest of the work!

Today’s tray bake contains whitefish. It only needs to be in the oven for a short time. That is why Hugo first starts cutting and grilling the vegetables. He will add the fish later.

White fish and parsnip tray bake

  • Main course 4 persons
  • Preparation about 40 minutes


  • 500 g parsnips
  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • neutral oil
  • splash of white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 400 g cod fillet (or whiting fillet / sea bass / haddock)


  • large baking dish
  • aluminium foil
  • mortar

Salad with radish and orange

  • salad 4 persons
  • preparation approx. 15 minutes


  • 2 (blood) oranges
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 1 tablespoon of Zaanse mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 75 g arugula

bearnaise Sauce

  • Side dish 4 people
  • Preparation approx. 20 minutes


  • 250 g butter
  • 1-2 shallots
  • 100 ml of white wine
  • 100 white wine vinegar
  • 1 bunch of tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 3 egg yolks
  • salt and white pepper


  • heat resistant bowl
  • whisk

Basis of the tray bake

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

The base of the tray bake consists of the vegetables: parsnip, fennel and garlic. Cut the tops of the fennel and halve the fennel. Then cut it into nice slices about a centimeter thick. Place the half parsnips flat side on the cutting board for the easiest cut.

Peel the parsnips with a vegetable peeler. Do this as late as possible, because parsnips are a vegetable that oxidizes quickly, or discolours. Remove the bottom of the parsnip and then cut it into pieces. Blocks or slices, whatever you like.

Tip: When buying fresh parsnips, pay close attention to the color. You prefer to buy it when it looks a bit pale and white. Then he has the best taste. The more brown it is, the more bitter it will be.

When you have cut the vegetables, spread them on an oven dish or baking tray. Crush some fennel seeds on top and top with some garlic cloves. These can remain in the skin, so they roast in the oven and you get a sweet, soft garlic.

Pour a dash of white wine over your tray bake. Don’t want alcohol? Then use white wine vinegar to mimic those sour, fresh hues. Drizzle some neutral olive oil over the vegetables and then slide the tray into the oven for 20-30 minutes.

bearnaise Sauce

While the vegetables are slowly cooking in the oven, you can start on your homemade béarnaise sauce. This consists of clarified butter, which you are now going to make.

Grab a pan and put the butter in it. Put your pan on low heat and let the butter melt slowly, without allowing it to brown. After a while the butter (if all goes well) will fizz and a white foam will form on it.

When all the butter has melted, scoop this foam layer from the butter: these are the protein flakes that you want to remove, so that only the clarified butter is left.

Prepare the fish

Whitefish is ready quickly, so you just have to cut it into pieces. Hugo uses cod, but any other kind of whitefish is good too.

Cut the fish lengthwise and then cut it into ‘bite-sized’ pieces. When you have cut the fish, put it on a plate and put it away for a while. It may be wise to put the fish in the fridge for a while, depending on how long your tray bake has to be in the oven. 5 minutes before your vegetables are ready, add the fish to the plate.

Make bearnaise sauce

Did you clear the butter? Then you can continue to finish the béarnaise sauce.

Peel and chop the shallot. Grab a saucepan and add the shallot here, along with the white wine, white wine vinegar, half of the tarragon and the peppercorns. Let this mixture boil until it has reduced by about 1/3.

Pour the wine mixture through a sieve into a heat-resistant bowl that will fit on your saucepan. Clean the saucepan and bring a layer of water to a boil. Then put the heat-resistant bowl in the water, and turn the heat to low, so that the water just keeps boiling. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. We also call this cooking technique ‘au bain-marie’.

Add the egg yolks to the bowl and whisk everything together for two minutes, without stopping. When the egg yolks are completely beaten, add the melted butter while beating in a trickle. Beat until you have a thick, creamy sauce.

Finely chop the tarragon and stir it into the sauce. Season your sauce with some more salt and pepper.

Make fresh salad

Cut the rind off the oranges with a sharp knife so that you cut away the white skin. Then cut the wedges from between the membranes. Do this over a bowl, so that you collect the juice. Then squeeze the orange residue with your hands over the bowl.

Peel the red onion and cut it into thin half rings. Then cut the radishes from the bunch and cut them into quarters.

According to Hugo, it is always good to use the acidic ingredients first with dressings. In this case: first the orange and the mustard. Put these ingredients together in a bowl and whisk them well together. Then add the oil drop by drop.

Season your dressing with a little salt and pepper. Then add the radishes, arugula and red onion rings and mix everything together with your hands. Your salad is ready!

At the table!

Five minutes left on your oven’s timer? Then it is time to add the fish to the tray bake. Remove the tray from the oven and spread the fish over the vegetables. Then put the tray bake back in the oven and bake the fish for about five minutes.

When the timer rings, take the tray bake out of the oven. The fish can still be a little glassy, ​​just what you like. It doesn’t have to be completely done.

Spoon some of the tray bake onto a plate. Leave the garlic cloves closed: your guests can take it themselves. They can squeeze the garlic cloves across their plates to taste.

Finish the plates with your homemade béarnaise sauce. And as Hugo always says: “A little over it and a little off it. As if you had spilled.”

Garnish your tray bake with fresh fennel tops. These give a fresh anise flavor. You can also add some fresh tarragon. And of course don’t forget the salad! Place it loose next to it, or divide some over the plates.


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