For a quick-cooking, healthy, and delicious meal, look no further than this recipe for salmon and greens in papillote. Crisp bitter escarole acts as a bed for the moist salmon and simple garlic-butter-tarragon sauce. The whole thing is wrapped in parchment paper and baked in the oven. The resulting dish is a package waiting to be opened and devoured. Although it's an uncomplicated technique, the final presentation makes this fish ideal for impromptu weeknight entertaining. To look at the recipe,
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chopped escarole, romaine lettuce or spinach
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1-1 1/4 pounds skinned salmon fillet, preferably wild Pacific, cut into 4 portions
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- To prepare packets, start with four 20- to 24-inch-long pieces of parchment paper or foil. Fold in half crosswise. With the parchment or foil folded, draw half a heart shape on one side as you would if you were making a Valentine. Use scissors to cut out the heart shape. Open up the heart.
- Combine butter with the juice of 1 lemon in a small pan; melt over low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in tarragon and garlic. Reserve 2 tablespoons for the fish.
- Combine the rest of the sauce in a large bowl with escarole (or lettuce or spinach), scallions, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss to coat.
- Place one-fourth of the greens mixture (about 1 1/4 cups) on one side of each open heart fairly close to the crease and leaving at least a 1-inch boarder around the edges for folding.
- Place 1 piece of fish on top of each portion of greens. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Brush the reserved sauce on the fish. Slice the remaining lemon and top the fish with the lemon slices.
- Close the packet to cover the ingredients. Starting at the top, seal the packet by folding the edges together in a series of small, tight folds. Twist the tip of the packet and tuck it underneath to help keep the packet closed. Place the packets on a large rimmed baking sheet (packets may overlap slightly).
- Bake until the fish is just cooked through and the greens are wilted, about 15 minutes. Carefully open one package to check for doneness;be cautious of the steam.) Let the packets rest unopened for 5 minutes before serving.
- Main Dishes, Shellfish