Salmon Baked in Parchment with Spinach and Feta

 This is the easiest way to make fish ever. Ever. It’s pretty, packed with flavor, and healthy for you too. The fish basically steams itself in its own juices and whatever else you add to it, and the end result is incredible. Plus, cleanup is minimal, since you can just eat it right out of the parchment if you want. If you’re not a fan of feta, you can skip it, but why not just try it, because spinach and feta is awesome.

– 2 salmon filets
– 2 cups spinach, divided
– 4 slices lemon
– curls of basil butter
– 1 shallot, sliced
– 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
– 1 tbsp EVOO, divided
– Couple crumbles of feta
– Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Tear off a decent size of parchment paper. Fold it in half so you know which side you’re going to be working on.

3. Rub 1/2 a tbsp of EVOO on the right side of the parchment paper.

4. On top of that, add 1/2 a cup of the spinach, 1/2 a shallot, sliced, then 1 filet of salmon.

5. Cut a couple shallow slices into the salmon, then season it with Kosher salt & black pepper. Top with 2 of the slices of lemon, 1 clove garlic, sliced, & some curls of the basil butter.

6. Crimp up the ends of the parchment paper so it makes a little pouch. Follow steps 2-6 with the other piece of salmon.

7. Put the parchment packets on a baking tray on the lowest rack of the oven, cook for approx. 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.

8. Open up the salmon packets (don’t toss the juices in the bottom, because they’re the best), carefully arrange the salmon & the veggies on top of some fresh spinach, then add some feta crumbles.  We had this with tuna tartare for one of the prettiest dinners I’ve made in a long time.

Fish Tacos spiked with Cilantro and Lime

When I first heard of fish tacos, I thought they sounded totally gross.  Fish tacos??  How would that work? Weren’t tacos just meat, salsa, lettuce and shredded cheese? Little did I know.  A couple of years later, these are one of my favorite things to make – they’re healthy, full of flavor, and are really adaptable to different ingredients.  This one infuses tilapia with cilantro and lime flavors, and is topped with avocado slices and a tomatillo salsa for a fresh, quick dinner.  A fresh, light creamy avocado dressing would also be really nice with this, too.

FISH TACOS SPIKED WITH CILANTRO AND LIME (serves 2 for dinner – approx. 4 tacos)
– 1 lb. tilapia
– handful cilantro, chopped
– small whole-wheat tortillas
– 1 lime, zested and juiced
– 1/2 tsp. cumin
– dash paprika
– 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
– 2 tbsp. EVOO
– couple grinds of fresh black pepper
– sour cream, for topping
– tomatillo salsa, for topping
– avocado, for topping

1. Zest the lime (just the green, not the white – the “pith” is really bitter), then juice it.  This was the first time I got to use our new Rosle Citrus Reamer, and holy moly.  Game-changer.

2. Combine the lime juice with the lime zest, cumin, paprika, salt & pepper, stir to allow the spices to mix with the lime juice.  Add the olive oil & chopped cilantro, stir to combine.  

3. Add the fish to a ziplock bag, then pour the marinade over it. Ziplock the bag, shake it all up so that the marinade covers the fish, and let sit for approx. 20 minutes (I used this time to make a tomatillo salsa).

 4. If you have a Le Creuset Grill Pan (Le Creuset continues to be awesome), get it super hot (medium-high heat, no oil), then add the fish.  Cook until it’s flaky and cooked through, approx. 7 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the tilapia.

5. Warm the tortillas in a microwave – 4 at a time, in a paper towel, for approx. 45 seconds – then top with the fish.  Add avocado slices, tomatillo salsa, sour cream.  These are light and delicious, and a little different than our typical mexican fare, the turkey taco lettuce wraps.  Hope you like them as much as we do!

Fish En Papillote (“Fish in Parchment Paper”)

This has got to be one of the simplest, healthiest, most delicious things I make. It’s pretty. It has a great presentation. There is next to zero cleanup, and it’s about as “clean” as you can get as far as recipes are concerned. Basically, you pick your veggies and fish, pick your herbs & other flavorings, pack it all up in a cute little parchment paper pouch, and then throw them in the oven. The fish and flavorings will steam and cook all together, blending flavors and creating an incredibly tasty dinner. Best of all – this can be ready start to finish in 30 minutes, which makes it a perfect weeknight meal, but it looks so nice that it could be served at dinner parties. 

FISH EN PAPILOTTE (serves as many people as you need it to) 
– 6 oz. of fish per person (any kind – I used cod here, but flounder, tilapia, monkfish, sea bass, salmon, etc. would work. You get the picture.) 
– Veggies. I would julienne squash, carrots, peppers. You can half cherry tomatoes. Cut onions or shallots into thin strips, cut baby potatoes into thin rounds. I used baby bok choy this time, and just put a couple of leaves into each packet, which was also really nice. 
– Herbs. Thyme is fantastic, savory is a bit stronger but also nice. Fresh is best, but if you add dried, add about half of what you would with fresh herbs. 
– Flavors. Thin rounds of lemon to top, a splash of white wine, super thin shavings of butter, etc. 
– Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oven to 375. 

2. Prep whatever veggies you’ve decided to use.

lemon sliced into thin rounds, baby bok choy, halved cherry tomatoes, julienned zucchini, shallot cut into thin rounds

3. Cut a heart (like you did in grade school – half a heart on folded paper, then unfold) in parchment paper. Spritz one side with olive oil.

4. Add veggies to the side of the parchment paper with olive oil. Top with the fish, then lemons/butter/”flavors”. Top with salt & pepper.


5. Fold the other half of the “heart” over the fish & veggie combo. Working from the top, crimp the paper over itself into little pleats so it forms a little pouch. Make sure it’s a bit loose in the middle, so steam can circulate and cook the fish and veggies inside.

6. Put pouches on a baking sheet to catch any juices that spill, then bake for 20 minutes or so, or until fish is flaky and cooked through.  The parchment paper will puff a bit, and get golden brown in spots.

7. Serve pouches on individual plates. You can either cut into the top part of the pouch to eat directly from there, or you can open the entire pouch to empty the contents on the plate. The juices (and flavors) will stay concentrated a little more if you do it the first way, but either way, it’s a delicious dinner that I hope you enjoy as much as we do!