In the age of Tasty videos and all things efficient, I love the carefree idea of putting all the ingredients for one meal on a single pan and baking it to completion. When I picked up “The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook,” I was excited for a book of recipes that, as the tagline on the cover promised, “Complete Meals Using Just Your Sheet Pan, Dutch Oven, Roasting Pan and More.”
Julia Konovalova, the author and creator of the all-things food blog Imagelicious, subscribes to the idea that oven-baking is a simple and relaxing way to get good, healthy food on the table. In her introduction, she writes that “The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook” is meant to help home cooks master oven-cooking and temperature control. The book offers dozens of accessible recipes grouped by type of dish, from “Oven-Made Breakfasts” and “Simple Soups, Salads and Sandwiches” to “Easy Sides,” and “Delicious and Unique Desserts.” In the back, Konovalova gives advice on equipment and cooking temperatures.
I homed in on “Complete One-Pan Oven Meals,” the technique that drew me to the cookbook in the first place. Each recipe in this chapter, and every chapter, is printed on a single page with an adjacent full-page photo showing the home cook a picture of the finished dish. The recipes all offer a complete protein-based meal, with oven-baked vegetables and/or starch; most suggest a side dish to top off the plate.
Patiently anticipating the warmer weather, I found myself drawn to the few fish and seafood recipes. I decided to test the Baked Haddock with Cherry Tomatoes, Capers and Lemon, in part because many of the ingredients were already in my pantry.
The instructions were easy and kept me on task. I was intrigued that the recipe had me start by melting butter right in the pan; it proved a successful trick for keeping the fish moist. Even before I put the pan in the oven, the dish looked really pretty, almost to the point of impressive. Out of the oven it was delicious, with a great balance of flavors – tang from the lemons and capers, and sweet from the roasted tomatoes. This dish, and others like it – next I plan to try the One-Pan Fish Tacos or the Easy Oven Seafood Boil – are simple, healthy and a great option for summertime, when both the grill and the stove seem like too much work.
Baked Haddock With Cherry Tomatoes, Capers and Lemon
Our recipe tester found that with the salt in the capers and the acidity of the lemon adding flavor, she didn’t need any added salt.
Serves 2 to 4
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2-2½ cups grape tomatoes, plus more for serving
1 tbsp capers
2 cups baby spinach, plus more for serving
2 haddock fillets (about 1¼ lbs)
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put the butter on a quarter sheet pan (13 x 9 inches) and place in the oven for a few minutes to melt. Once the butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven.
While the oven is preheating, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Halve or quarter the grape tomatoes and thinly slice the lemon. Roll the sheet pan around so the melted butter covers it all. Make sure to use your oven mitts. Scatter the tomatoes and capers onto the sheet pan, then cover with a layer of baby spinach. Add half of the lemon slices on top of the spinach and place 2 haddock fillets over them. Season the fish to taste with salt and pepper, then layer the remaining lemon slices over it.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a safe internal temperature is reached. A safe internal temperature for the fish is 145 degrees F.
Serve with a few extra fresh grape tomatoes and spinach leaves.