For those occasions in life when you want something fancy and easy - cooking for a date, cooking for yourself, maybe even your family of 8. Once in a while we all want to sit down and eat something prepared thoughtfully and beautifully. We taste with our eyes first (it's true). Is that too much to ask? Nah. I'm on it.
Ask your fish monger to give you x amount of individually portioned pieces of de-boned salmon (preferably wild). Half the work for dinner is already over. Next, take whatever leftover veggies you have in the fridge - that half an onion from taco night, the pieces of multi-colored peppers from salads all week and slice them in thin strips. The second half of your meal is done. See? You got this. I'll finish off the recipe below so you can follow actual steps. I have a feeling once you learn this little trick, parchment baked salmon will be a new regular on the home cookin' menu! Have fun!
Parchment Baked Salmon
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced (can sub veg on hand - like peppers)
2 shallots, thinly sliced (can sub onion of choice)
8 kalamata olives (or whatever olives you have on hand)
1 plum tomato, seeded & thinly sliced (can sub veg on hand like zucchini, eggplant)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
2 - 1/2 lb salmon fillets (de-boned)
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
Tear two large pieces of parchment paper (enough to be able to wrap completely around the fish with about 5" extra). Lay the parchment side by side on a baking sheet.
In a mixing bowl, toss veggies and parsley with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Place half the veggie mixture in the center of one sheet of parchment and the other half on the other sheet of parchment. Arrange them with your hands to create a little bed for your salmon.
Place each piece salmon skin side down on to each bed of veggies, sprinkle with remaining olive oil and sea salt.
Grab the edges of the parchment paper on either side of the long side of the salmon and pinch them together to create a tent above the salmon. Crease the parchment to start to create a seal and then fold it two more times until the parchment is just above the salmon. Next, tightly crease the edges of the parchment so you create a sealed pouch containing the veg and salmon.
Leave the parchment pouched salmon on the sheet tray and bake in your pre-heated oven for 18-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of the salmon).
Remove and eat, just watch out for steam when you open that parchment!
Want to ge just a little fancier? While the salmon bakes, you can throw together a Mustard Basil Sauce in about 2 minutes. Take out your mini-chop, food processor or immersion blender and blend together: 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 cups fresh basil, 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice and sea salt to taste. Blend until smooth and drizzle over salmon when it comes out of the oven.