Elegant and Easy Salmon en Papillote


I’m not interested in fooling our dinner guests into thinking I’ve slaved for days to cook for them. But I am interested in easy techniques that yield delicious results and even a little drama on the plate.

I should have learned this easy technique for cooking fish eons ago. The truth is that I  didn’t learn it until I took a cooking class in my hometown in CT a few weeks back   The theme was Deceptively Easy Recipes for Entertaining.


When I saw Salmon en Papillote on the menu I was super psyched. This easy technique is virtually fool-proof, yielding moist, flavor rich results each time. Bring the neatly wrapped packages of salmon to your spring table and utter VOILA as you slowly unwrap them and the savory aromas permeate the air.


Do you love a great cooking class? We’re posting an exciting spring/early summer schedule of kosher, kosher-friendly and vegetarian cooking classes this week.  You’ll want to  save that post for reference.

L-R Melissa Roberts and Marisa McDonald

L-R Melissa Roberts and Marisa McDonald

Thank you Melissa Roberts and Marisa McDonald for sharing this recipe. Check out their impressive bios after this recipe.

If you are interested in organizing a hands on cooking class with Melissa and Marisa, contact melissarose212@gmail.com

Salmon en Papillote

4 servings

 Salmon en Papillote

Papillote means balloon in French. The steam created inside a tightly wrapped package of ingredients bound in parchment paper puffs and expands--like a balloon! This is a healthy, impressive-looking, but simple technique that can be used in everyday cooking.

This recipe is pareve (non-dairy).


  • 1 (1 ½ lb) piece center cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 4 equal sized pieces
  • 1 medium carrot, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, washed well to remove any grit, then very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 ounces (about 4 large) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and very thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (1 to 2” long) thyme sprigs
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons dry white wine


  1. Preheat to 400F with rack in middle.
  2. Place a piece of salmon in the center of a parchment piece.
  3. Arrange vegetables around fish and season with some (about ¼ teaspoon each) salt and pepper.
  4. Top each fillet with a thyme sprig and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon lemon zest. Drizzle 1 teaspoon each olive oil and wine over fish.
  5. Fold parchment over fish and vegetables to make a triangle. Beginning with one corner (not the pointed end), gather and crimp paper tightly around fish, twisting the end to tighten package securely.
  6. Place packages directly on a large (4 sided) baking sheet in oven and roast 12 minutes.
  7. To serve, place each package on a plate and use scissors to open. Serve immediately.


Equipment: 4 (15”) squares parchment paper


About the instructors:

Melissa Roberts was a food editor for Gourmet for 9 years, developing and writing recipes for the magazine before its closing in 2009.  Pre-Gourmet, she was a cook and stylist in the Food Network’s kitchen. A Westport transplant by way of New York City and the mom of two boys, she is now a  freelance writer, recipe developer and tester for magazines and websites, including gourmet.com, Kosher Like Me, ctbites, The Fairfield Green Food Guide, Bon Appetit, Real Simple, Fine Cooking, and Health.

Marisa Mcdonald graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in 2007 with diplomas in Culinary Arts and Culinary Management.  She went on to work for the event planning and catering divisions of The Cleaver Company, located in NYC, until moving to Westport in 2010.  On her own she has catered everything from a wedding for 100 to a dinner party for 6.  Her biggest challenge is coming up with new and interesting dishes to feed her husband and 3 hungry boys each night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>