Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote

French Fridays with Dorie

Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote

Summer is finally here which means nobody I know has any time for anything. I got home at 8:30PM tonight and I certainly didn’t have time to cook a French dinner (or even a “French” dinner.) But hey, its Thursday and I started this French Friday w Dorie project and even though I never invited hundreds of bloggers to depend on me each week (only 10 of you read this blog) I still feel a small sense of obligation to the cause. If not to my fellow Doristas then to my husband who prefers to eat actual food for dinner each night. (Although we do have a box of eggs and a jar of protein powder for emergencies.)
It appears our French Fridays with Dorie “leaders”  don’t have time either as they have all but abandoned us  Doristas as evidenced by their apparant lack of  having the unimaginably brief 10 seconds required to post a link enabling us to share our efforts with each other. See? Time is now officially scarce.

At this writing it has been one week since Beet Salad day and still no “Leae Your Link” post for that assignment.  While Doristas around the world were slaving away on beets and salmon our leaders were out playing frisbee at the beach or perhaps picnicking.  I do know that if they don’t have the 10 seconds required to post each week they certainly don’t have the 15 minutes necessary to make this remarkably simple and surprisingly elegant dinner.

Their loss while I actually found the time!

“Lack of time” is the theme for this week’s submission. So I’m going to run with it because running with it is what I do here at Sis Boom blog. This Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote is perfect when time is of concern and attention to detail is not. Not only does it take less than 5 minutes to prepare but it is also so brain-dead simple even a FFwD blog leader could do it. That is, if they had the time.

I didn’t even have the extra minute to worry about the lighting, set up a decent photo or make a nice plate of it but it hardly matters. Only 10 people read this blog anyway and while I love each and every one of you, I really didn’t have the time to get home and cook before the sunset.

For those reading without enough time to Google it for yourself (hi Mom!) “en papillote” means “in parchment”. To my view it looks as if  Dorie didn’t have enough time to go buy actual parchment so instead calls for foil which probably works better with a very hot oven allowing it to steam more quickly since the steam can’t escape the less tight folds of parchment.

Who knew this method was even French?  I used to cook like as a Boy Scout. Only back then we used an awful unnatural camping cooking oil and we never had fresh herbs packed with us. (Something I would now take great delight in bringing with me on a backpacking trip.)  We never had a  hot enough cooking fire either but somehow managed even though that skinny river trout never tasted as good as this.

So the verdict is: I loved it. I’d make this one even if I had more time and I’ll make it again when I don’t have any more time. Any time, even no time, is a good time for this one.

Oh, and Dorista Pubahs, I know I’m being a bit snarky here but it is only because I will be quite sad if you have put together this fine little cooking group only to abandon us for lack of time.  I would hate to think that Berry Terrine is our last assignment.

Besides, what would I do with all the extra time?

Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote

Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote Salmon and Tomatoes en PapilloteSalmon and Tomatoes en Papillote Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote
Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote

This is what you will need:

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (more to taste)
  • 4 grape tomatoes
  • About 6 basil leaves
  • One 5-ounce filet of salmon (skinless or not)
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1/2 spring onion or 1 scallion (optional), finely sliced
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper

This is how you make it:

  1. Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F and have a baking sheet at hand. Cut a piece of foil that is large enough for you to lay out the ingredients, lift up the edges of the foil and seal the packet with an inch or two of air space above the fish.
  2. If you want to "sear" the tomatoes, warm 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a small skillet, then saute the tomatoes just until their skins are wrinkled and bubbly, about 3 minutes.
  3. Working in the center of the piece of foil, make a bed of basil leaves, keeping 1 leaf aside. Sprinkle the leaves with a little salt and pepper, put the salmon over the leaves and season it with salt and pepper too. (If the salmon has skin, lay it skin-side against the basil.) Put the tomatoes on one side of the salmon and grate the lemon's zest over everything. If you're using the spring onion or scallion, scatter the pieces over the fish and tomatoes. Give the salmon a squirt of lemon juice, then cut two thin slices from the lemon and put them on top of the fish. Top with the last basil leaf and the sprig of thyme; moisten with olive oil.
  4. Seal the packet, making sure it's airtight and that there's puff space between the fish and the top of its cocoon. Put the packet on the baking sheet, slide the set-up into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, if you like your fish pink and slightly jiggly in the center (great for salmon); bake 2 minutes longer if you want your fish better done.
  5. You can either put the packet on a dinner plate and open it at the table, or open the packet in the kitchen and arrange the ingredients on a plate. If you plate the fish, you might want to finish the dish with a little minced basil or some snipped chives.


About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don’t know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]” means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small ‘boom’ in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a “food blog” or even myself a “food blogger”.

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  1. You nailed the greatness about this one. I loved it too. It took me longer to go to the market for fresh fish than to put this together. If only the fish store were on the way home from work, I might make this every night.

  2. Ah, Trevor. What to say, what to say…
    Somehow we are still managing to find each other – all ten of us 😉

  3. Beautiful! Your tomatoes look like little works of art 🙂

  4. HA! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. You nailed what I imagine was our collective “HEY!! Did you forget about us??” that we were all thinking since our beets lingered, unnoticed, in cyberspace.

    Glad you loved the dish! I’ve had no luck cooking chicken en papillote, so I was pleased that this salmon took on so much flavor.

  5. Hey Trevor, I’m so impressed with your simple dinner and your words, I really enjoy reading your blog. I hope I’m one of the group of ten or maybe I’m eleven or twelve?? I didn’t participate this week but am living vicariously as I gaze upon your lovely contribution;-)

  6. Thanks for your post, Trevor! I’ve been so irritated by the site not working properly & thought I was the only one because people kept saying how great the admins were when I suggested they assign a back up.

    Amyway, I agree – beautiful, simple,and delicious! I wondered about the choice of foil over paper, too, but we’ve cooked fish both ways & it’s great either way. We chose Mahi Mahi because we’re not huge fans of Salmon.

    One of the FEW, the PROUD, the 10! LOL!

  7. I need to make this dish asap…..I made the beets and the melon-berry soup already but somehow didn’t get to the fish yet…perhaps tonight?!

  8. I’m not a Dorista and I love your blog, Trevor, so your cyberspace reach is far wider than you might imagine 🙂

    This looks delicious, and I just happen to have some salmon and tomatoes on hand… thanks for the inspiration!

  9. It really was a quick meal that impresses with so little work. I was smiling when I read your sentiments on the LYL. In fact, when the LYL post didn’t go up and Doristas still managed to seek out each other’s posts and commented, I thought it was very cool of them.

    As for my dish, as soon as I read foil, I went off and did my own thing using parchment. 😀

  10. You are making me feel guilty. I just have to spend my time on gross stuff this week, but this is the 1st one I’ve missed and I always love your post. Love your blog and I’ll make this, but late. Your fish dish is beautiful!

  11. Ok – make that 11 people now that I’m getting E-mail notifications again. 🙂

    And this looks just scrumptious!!

  12. Great post! Your salmon looks perfect…wonderful job!

  13. Hahahaha! Oh Trevor, I love it when you get snarky! Hahaha! You gave me a good laugh today. That Salmon dish looks scrumptious and very beautiful!! Wow! You do have a lucky husband, he gets to dine on all these tasty meals you prepare.

    I love cooking with parchment, I use to do Salmon in parchment but I put it on a bed of julienne carrots, celery and leeks and add a bouquet garni along with a little wine and wrap it all up in Parchment and bake.
    I’ll have to try your recipe some day. Variety is the spice of life…non?
    Thanks for the fun post!

  14. Enjoyed the post…..and the pics! Wish mine had turned out as good but it was my fault not Dorie’s!

  15. Ha! Your self-deprecating humor will not work on me. I know you have TONS of followers! And, I applaud the fact that you called out the ffwD administrators because that truly irked me to no end (even though I did an alternate TwD recipe instead of that beet monstrosity!) I’m glad you had the 15 minutes for this dish. It looks tasty!

  16. I felt snarky too–in fact, I didn’t make the salmon yet because I figured I’d wait to see if FFWD was down again until I baked something in the July heat.
    It looks good enough to make it worthwhile, though.

  17. Loved your post as usual. Though since I think I’m number 17 or 18…

  18. Nice blog and love your salmon en papillote. Mine turned out great too. Kudos to Dorie for such a wonderful simple to prepare salmon dish 🙂

  19. Well we don’t need a LYL to comment on each other’s posts, now do we?

  20. It’s so strange and magical the the beet LYL seems to have gone up with a July 1 date! Perhaps it was there all along and we were too blinded by our disgust to see it?… Nah. I may take a page from the blog leaders’ time-bending book and do salmon next week but have it post one week earlier and then it won’t be late!

  21. It looks like you have much more than 10 readers, Trevor! 🙂 I am so glad that I stopped by because you always make me chuckle. Your salmon looks delicious and I am sure your husband enjoyed it.

  22. That was a world-class snark! Your salmon turned out beautifully, too. I loved how simple this was.

    And when I was a Girl Guide, back in the dark ages, some leaders at a regional camp with hundreds of girls decided it would be a good idea if we all cooked our dinners in sun ovens. Since this is Southern British Columbia, it turned out to be a cloudy day. They had no back up fires. Our group was amongst the oldest, so by the time they got some fires going and all the younger children had been fed, it was a bedtime snack for us. Foil dinners on the fire never tasted so good, even though the potatoes never cook through.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I love this preparation: obviously quite simple, super-speedy, and produces a highly aesthetic result. I’m already planning on preparing it for my house on Fire Island, and you’ll get full credit when I do.

    I’m heartened to see that your dozens of readers turned out in force to express their appreciation for not just this offering, but all that you’ve given us on your blog.


  24. Love your cool foil “empanada way” of encasing the salmon and tomatoes. I guess it was an off day for the moderators – and we all have some of those. I’m cutting them a bit of slack this time. Like Cher and Candy said, we always manage to find each other and that’s what’s so cool about the Doristas.