Living in Texas, we grill outside every month of the year — the weather is usually that mild. But on the occasions that we don’t throw salmon filets on the grill, I love baking these in pretty parchment paper packages. It’s ridiculously easy and quick, and the healthy factor is off the charts. You don’t have to use any oil if you don’t want to, but I love just a little extra virgin olive oil in this preparation. I pile the fish with julienned vegetables, lemon slices, and herbs, then the whole works steam to beautiful perfection in minutes. It’s delicious served over a pillow of mashed potatoes or fluffy rice, with a pour of lovely dry white wine alongside. (If you want a quick how-to on making the parchment envelopes, find one of the many helpful You Tube videos for a demonstration.) Cleanup couldn’t be easier, that’s for sure. If you like, switch out cod, flounder, or sole for the salmon; you’ll want to make this a weekly menu item, I promise.
4 salmon filets, 6 to 8 ounces each
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, cut in julienne, divided use
1 yellow bell pepper, cut in julienne, divided use
3 green onions, roughly chopped, divided use
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half, divided use
1 tablespoon dried herbs de Provence, divided use
Juice and zest from 1 lemon, divided use
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
To prepare salmon, heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 4 large pieces of parchment paper into heart shapes, folding each in half. On one half of each of the heart-shaped sheets, place a salmon filet and brush with a little olive oil. Top each filet with a little of the carrot, yellow bell pepper, green onion, tomatoes, herbs de Provence, lemon juice and zest, and salt and pepper. Make packets of each heart-shaped parchment paper by folding the other side of the paper (opposite the salmon and veggies) over and crimping the edges as tightly as possible. Place packets on cookie sheets and bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.