Normally I would grill salmon during the summer, but those of you in Santa Barbara, or anywhere along the California coast, would know that we have had more than our fair share of summer fog. I am amazed how chilly it has been this year. You know it's bad when you forget that it's summer because you have been wearing clothes that are usually tucked away until at least January.
So, if you are feeling a little chilly and don't feel like bravin' it out by the grill any night over the next few months, try baking your salmon in these nifty homemade parchment pouches. This recipe is easy to throw together in under thirty minutes and is attractive enough to present to guests [so that they think you spent all day preparing it].
I used cavolo nero black leaf kale as a bed for the fish, but you could easily sub chard, spinach, or any braising green you find at your local market.
I mixed my butter with herbs de provence from Tom Shepherd's CSA, but you could also try caper butter, pesto butter, or your own unique creation.
The salmon and greens are a meal in themselves, chock full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K and calcium, but I chose to serve them with a few roasted heirloom new potatoes. You could also serve the pouch contents over fluffed quinoa if you prefer.
However you decide to indulge, be careful not to overcook the fish. Don't be afraid to pull it out, check it and put it back in if it needs a few more minutes, but also don't shy from serving it slightly al dente. Overcooked fish is a tragedy I wish upon no one.
baked salmon parchment pouches
2-4 wild caught salmon fillets
1 large bunch greens, such as kale, chard or spinach
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 cup real butter or ghee
2 tbsp herbs de provence
1/2 tsp celtic mineral sea salt
Mix the butter with the herbs and sea salt. Set aside.
Cut a 12" long piece of parchment for each salmon fillet. Fold each in half and lay open on a flat work surface.
Prepare the pouches:
- Lay a small bunch of greens in the middle of one side of each piece of parchment. Place 2-3 slices of lemon on each bed of greens, followed by a tbsp of butter.
- Lay a salmon fillet on top of the butter, lemon and greens. Top the fish with one more tbsp of butter.
- One at a time, fold the parchment paper over and fold on a diagonal, making small, overlapping pleats all the way around until you have a half moon shaped parchment pouch.
- Place each pouch in a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven until pouches puff up, about 10-12 minutes.