Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote {FFwD}

When I first saw the July list for French Fridays with Dorie, I figured this week’s recipe was one I’d skip. I love salmon but no one else here eats it, so I never make it at home. However, my daughter asked if I could make pulled pork for her, and since I don’t eat pork, I figured this would be my chance to make salmon for myself.

I made the salmon for dinner the same evening that I made chunky beets and icy red onions, also from Around My French Table, and both were delicious.

As fancy as it sounds, this dish was really quite easy to put together. I began by searing grape tomatoes in a pan with a little bit of olive oil, just to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes a bit. To make the packet (“en papillote” means “in parchment” but like most recipes, this one uses foil to make the packets, I suppose because it’s easier to fold into a nice, tight seal), I began by laying freshly-picked basil from my garden on a sheet of foil, then sprinkling with salt and white pepper.

I set a piece of salmon on the basil, drizzled it with olive oil, then seasoned with salt and white pepper. I set the tomatoes to one side of the salmon, grated lemon zest over the fish and tomatoes, then scattered some of the leftover icy red onions from the chunky beet recipe over everything. I squirted a bit of fresh lemon juice on top, then finished it with lemon slices, basil, and a sprig of thyme.

After sealing the packet, I put it in the refrigerator until I was ready to cook the salmon for dinner. I cooked the packet for 10 minutes at 475°F. I served the salmon in the papillote, opening the packet at the table.

This was a wonderful dish. The salmon was cooked beautifully — moist, flaky, and tender — and the herbs and lemon gave it a bright, fresh flavor. This dish paired well with chunky beets and icy red onions and corn on the cob for a satisfying yet light Sunday supper.

If you’ve shied away from cooking fish at home, this is a great recipe to try. It’s quick and easy, without a lot of unusual ingredients. And sealing the ingredients in a foil packet ensures that the fish stays moist and absorbs the flavors of the herbs and spices.



  1. Adriana said,

    July 11, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I agree with your comment about the fishy smells. Most of the time I cook salmon in the grill pan the smell LINGERS. Beautiful pictures!

  2. Teresa said,

    July 11, 2011 at 4:27 am

    I love that you used leftover icy onions for this dish – I bet they added a nice flavour to the salmon. I’m going to follow your lead and double the recipe next time I make this, so we can have them for lunch the next day.

  3. Katie said,

    July 10, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    How tasty looking! I’m glad you got to make it even if no one else wanted any!

  4. July 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Glad you enjoyed this one. I did too. It was a nice, easy way to enjoy without a lot of mess – and yummy!

    • gaaarp said,

      July 10, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      I liked the fact that the house didn’t smell fishy when I cooked it, too. That’s the thing that really keeps me from making fish at home. I only ever cook it on the grill.

  5. Kathy said,

    July 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Glad you got to blog along for this one. Your salmon looks delicious! I really enjoyed the en papillote method of cooking the fish and the easy clean up. Nice job!

    • gaaarp said,

      July 10, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      I can’t believe I’ve never made anything else this way! I’m definitely going to be making other recipes “en papillote”.

  6. July 9, 2011 at 11:48 am

    nice work!! glad you found an opportunity to try the recipe.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm

      Thanks. I’m glad I made it, too.

  7. July 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Great idea to serve it with the beet salad and make use of leftover red onion. Glad you enjoyed this dish!

    • gaaarp said,

      July 10, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      Thanks! I have a feeling those icy red onions are going to be making their way into a lot of dishes in my house.

  8. Kayte said,

    July 8, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Not shy about fish, not shy about cooking this style, just not organized enough to get it done yet. Maybe today, though, if Mark will stop at the fish store on his way home from work and pick up some good salmon. Friday is fish (or no meat day anyway) day around here, so this could be a happening thing. Sounds like everyone at your house had a wonderful meal and everyone was wearing a smile afterward. Can’t beat that! Your salmon looks great. I am not using foil when I make it, however, no matter what the recipe says…the acid from the tomato and lemon makes a foil taste on food for me…parchment all the way here.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      I kind of wish I had used parchment. I didn’t notice any off flavors, it just seems like it would have been more rustic or something.

  9. Cher said,

    July 8, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Fortunately, I have a house (almost) full of fish lovers, so we make fish like all the time!
    Glad you enjoyed!

    • gaaarp said,

      July 8, 2011 at 11:45 am

      I’ve started cooking fish more often, whenever I make pork for everyone else.

  10. teaandscones said,

    July 8, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I liked this too. I am the only one here who eats salmon so making just one for lunch was perfect.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 8, 2011 at 11:43 am

      I ended up with 2, so I had one for dinner and one for lunch the next day. It was good cold, too.

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