March 12, 2009

Recipe - Salmon in Parchment

Salmon in Parchment
4 servings
Regular readers know that I'm a big fan of salmon. In fact, I gave up being a vegetarian because I didn't want to miss out on this fish, with its great flavor and health benefits. Salmon, like other oily fish (herring, sardines, mackerel), is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation, protect against heart attacks, and possibly reduce your chances of developing cancer. I recommend eating two to three servings a week of salmon or other oily fish rich in omega-3's. When you want something out of the ordinary, this is an easy and elegant recipe to try. It requires cooking parchment, which you will find in rolls or sheets at kitchen-supply stores and even many supermarkets. Parchment-wrapped food turns into taut packages as steam inflates the sealed pouches. (Be careful when slitting them open to avoid being burned.) The results are a delicate mix of textures and aromas that's sure to please.

8 oz. thin spaghetti
1 tablespoon quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh dill or parsley, chopped
1 cup carrots julienned
1 cup zucchini, julienned
1 cup asparagus tips
1 cup red bell pepper, julienned
24 oz salmon fillet, cut into four 6-ounce pieces
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 large sheets of parchment paper


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Cook thin spaghetti in rapidly boiling water until al dente, drain, toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and chopped fresh dill or parsley.

3. Rinse salmon fillets and pat dry. Spread Dijon mustard evenly over the top of each one.

4. Prepare the parchment: fold each piece of parchment in half. With scissors, cut the shape of half a heart from the folded side. (Remember Valentine's you made in grade school?) Open the heart shape and place 1/4 of the pasta on the center of the paper, top with a salmon fillet, and add the vegetables. Bring the sides of the heart over the fish and fold the edges together starting at the top of the heart, overlapping the folded edge as you go. Fold the tip several times to secure it.

5. Place the pouches in the middle of the hot oven and bake for 10 minutes. Serve immediately in the sealed pouches, opening them just before eating.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving:
533 calories
14.9 g total fat (2.8 g sat)
76 mg cholesterol
52 g carbohydrate
46 g protein
5 g fiber
696 mg sodium

- Recipe reprinted with permission of

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