It appears on your plate wrapped up like a present. But there’s more to this dish than pretty presentation. When you bake salmon, potatoes, and fresh herb-sprinkled vegetables in parchment paper, something magical happens. Nestled in the package, the ingredients cook in their own juices. And when you snip the papillote open, dinner reveals itself in a cloud of aromatic steam.
Active time: 1 hr Start to finish: 1 1/4 hr
Makes 4 servings.
- 1small fennel bulb,stalks discarded
- 3medium carrots (1/2 lb)
- 1/2lb small red potatoes
- 1/2cup kalamata olives, slivered
- 2teaspoons finely gratedfresh lemon zest
- 4teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2large garlic cloves, minced
- 3tablespoons extra-virginolive oil
- 1(1 1/2-lb) piece center-cut salmon fillet, skinnedand fish cutinto 4 square piecesspecial equipment: a mandoline or other manual slicer,4 (15-inch) squares parchment paper
DIRECTIONS Place a large baking sheet on bottom rack of oven and remove any other racks. Preheat oven to 400°F.
Halve fennel bulb lengthwise. Remove most of core, leaving enough intact to keep layers togetherwhen sliced.
Using manual slicer, cut fennel bulb (lengthwise), carrots (diagonally),and potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick slices, keeping vegetables separate.
Blanch vegetables, separately, in salted boiling water: fennel 2 minutes, carrots 1 minute, potatoes 2 minutes. Transfer fennel and carrots with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water, then drain well. Drain potatoes.
Toss fennel and carrots witholives, zest, thyme, half of garlic,2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Toss potatoes with remaining oil and garlic and saltand pepper to taste.
Divide potato mixture among centers of parchment squares. Season salmon with salt and pepper and place on top of potatoes, then top salmon withfennel mixture.
Gather sides of parchment up over fennel mixture to form a pouch, leaving no openings, and tie tightly with string. 3Place packages directly on hot baking sheet in oven and cook 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
• If your parchment paper is less than15 inches wide, crisscross 8 (15-inch-long) sheets to approximate 4 (15-inch) squares.
• Foil can be substituted for parchment. Crimp edges tightly to close; do not tie.