Monday, May 3, 2010

A Step-by-Step Guide to Salmon En Papillote

As sophisticated as the name sounds "en papillote" simply means "in parchment." This method is one of my favorites for preparing fish because it delicately steams the fish along with whatever aromatics and vegetables are put in the paper, making it a great meal to make when you have a random assortment of herbs and vegetables that need to be used up.
To make the parchment packages you'll need a craft knife or a pair of scissors and a piece of parchment folded in half, as shown.
Because I'll be using a craft knife, I placed my piece of parchment on an inverted cookie sheet.
Here I'll cut along the folded paper as if making a paper heart.  
When unfolded it should look like a valentine! Precious.
Wild caught salmon was on sale, so that's what I'm going with.
I gathered some rosemary, zucchini, carrot and lemon that I had on hand. Substitutions are welcome here!
Now just pile everything on one side of the parchment. Add a little olive oil or a pat of butter and season with salt and pepper to help create a nice sauce inside each package.
To tightly seal the package, make a double fold to make sure it doesn't open up during cooking and place on a cookie sheet.
Everything cooks together, infusing flavor through the fish and the vegetables. And best of all, no frying pans were dirtied in the process!
Salmon en Papillote

4 fillets wild caught salmon
1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch coins
2 carrots, julienned
1 lemon, sliced
4 sprigs rosemary, cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil, or 2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375. Cut vegetables the same thickness to avoid overcooking. Place salmon on parchment sheets that have been folded in half and cut out into half-heart shapes. Top with fresh rosemary, lemon slices, carrots, zucchini and a pat of butter. Season with salt and pepper. Seal tightly by folding the edges over twice. Repeat with other packages. Arrange packages on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, adjusting time depending on the thickness of the fish. Serve in the parchment packages.


  1. WOW! This sounds (and looks) like a great simple recipe. I'd have to try it out one of these days since I've been looking for a good salmon recipe. Thanks for posting!

  2. I never would have glanced twice at something that sounded as complicated as "en papillote", but you've made it look so simple. A true one-dish meal!