Olive & Thyme’s Melina Davies Shares a Recipe from Her New Cookbook

For fish lovers only.

Melina Davies has presided over one of Toluca Lake’s most popular eateries for the past 10 years. With unfussy preparations and an emphasis on fresh ingredients, Olive & Thyme offers everything from quiche to lasagna with finesse—all served in a bright, airy space filled with warm blonde wood tables, sleek countertops and silver stools (before the shutdown).

Suffice to say patrons are thrilled that the eatery has remained open (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) throughout the pandemic. “We’re really lucky. We have always done tons of takeout and catering, so we know that business well. We didn’t need to pivot tremendously when it came to that department,” shares Melina.  

It comes as no surprise to the chef that with such tumultuous times, comfort food has spiked in popularity. “Our frozen pot pies have started their own cult following,” she notes.

Here Melina shares one of her tried and true recipes from her new cookbook, Olive & Thyme: Everyday Meals Made Extraordinary. 

“This parchment-baked halibut is a perfect way to use up all the veggies in your fridge. While I prefer this particular mix, don’t shy away from adding in the odds and ends you have. No veggie left behind! Sealing them up to steam with the fish imparts a delicate flavor to everything.”  

Parchment-Baked Halibut 

Serves 4 

  • 4 sweet mini peppers, sliced
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 6 rainbow carrots, sliced lengthwise 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary 
  • Preheat the oven to 375°. 
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 6-ounce fresh halibut fillets
  • ¼ cup dry white wine 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 

In a mixing bowl, combine peppers, fennel, carrots, thyme, and one sprig of rosemary with olive oil and a pinch of salt. 

Stack two large sheets of parchment paper, large enough to wrap around all the fish and veggies, on a baking sheet. Lay the halibut on top of the two layers of parchment. Pour white wine over the fish, salt each side of the fillets, and pour lemon juice over the fish. Top with vegetable-herb mixture. 

Fold the paper over the fish and vegetables, from one side to the other and on either end, securing tightly. I use twine to tightly secure the package, so the steam doesn’t escape. Tie the remaining rosemary sprig to the top for an extra touch. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes. 

Transfer to a serving tray, still in the parchment, and untie the package at the table.