Tarragon-Butter Salmon en Papillote







I've been wanting to try cooking something in parchment paper or 'en papillote' ever since I had a really delicious meal in parchment at a yummy restaurant called 50 Plates in Portland a while back. Lucky for me, the most recent edition of Eating Well had a whole slew of recipes using this method. Parchment paper locks in the flavor and makes the contents taste so delicious. It's a french technique (hence the 'en papillote') and basically just steams the food - foil can also be used in place of parchment paper. It may seem intimidating if you've never cooked with parchment, but making the packets is the easiest part of the meal! I found a great short video that shows you how to cut and fold the packets here (be careful if you're at work, it's got sound!). I'd definitely recommend trying this recipe, it's especially fun for entertaining. The tarragon butter is amazing!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinned salmon fillet, cut into 4 portions

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. To prepare packets, start with four 20- to 24-inch-long pieces of parchment paper. Fold in half crosswise. With the parchment 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.
  3. 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 spinach, scallions, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss to coat.
  4. Place one-fourth of the greens mixture on one side of each open heart 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.
  5. Brush the reserved sauce on the fish. Slice the remaining lemon and top the fish with the lemon slices.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.

23 comments:

Mary said...

This is a really nice recipe. I love the idea of tarragon butter.

nick said...

This sounds absolutely delicious. I've never had anything cooked in this method outside of a restaurant, but thinking back I do remember my fish being exceptionally good then. I've seen a couple of other bloggers trying this out as of late, perhaps I need to give this a go in the ol' home kitchen.

Marta said...

En papillote is such a great, and unfortunatelly underrated, cooking technique! So healthy, so simple, such a great way to let a few, good quality ingredients shine!
Great job!

♥peachkins♥ said...

hmmnn. this is different..That salmon looks juicy and tasty..

lisaiscooking said...

This looks delicious! Salmon comes out so tender cooked this way, and the spinach sounds great.

Juliana said...

Yummie...this salmon looks terrific...never cooked using this techinique...time to try it! Great pictures as always :-)

finsmom said...

How fancy :) This would be perfect for a romantic date night :)

Karine said...

Cooking fish in papilotte always makes a great dish! Your salmon looks delicious! :)

Lisa said...

I love cooking in parchment. This looks delicious!

Gloria said...

I love salmon and this recipe look wonderful! Gloria

Amanda said...

What a gorgeous presentation!

Kerstin said...

How funny, I was just telling my mom that I should try cooking fish in parchment paper! Yours looks so perfect!

Sharon said...

Gorgeous! We acutally just went on a cooking in parchment frenzy after Eating Well had a bunch of recipes. We certainly weren't able to get our 'packets' looking as nice as yours!

Esi said...

This looks fantastic. Such a healthy meal.

Grace said...

i just get excited whenever something is cooked in a bag or envelope or package of some sort. great dish!

Zoe said...

I've always to make something using parchment paper. It's like unwrapping a gift! This is wonderful.

Cookin' Canuck said...

What a beautiful piece of salmon! I like the pairing of the tarragon with the salmon.

Cherie said...

Great dish! Healthy and super delicious!

Pam said...

That is my favorite way to cook fish. I especially like it with baby bok choy, fish, and cilantro, lemongrass, and keffir lime leaves.

burpandslurp said...

Oh, I love that you used salmon for your fish...It is just SO flavorful, and you capture its natural oils in the packet! and tarragon butter? wow...luscious!

Bridgett said...

Super delicious and I love that it is healthy!

Sig said...

I love tarragon butter, I have a grilled sardines recipe with taragon butter and this reminds me to make it again! And while I am at it, I should try the salmon parcels too... looks yum!

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Mmmmm... I love cooking thing en papillote. I do mushrooms this way too. That salmon looks great. Is it sockeye? I just slow roasted some sockeye fillets tonight for dinner.

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