One-Dish Salmon in Foil Packets with Asparagus, Fennel and Tarragon Vinaigrette
About the recipe
A naturally fatty fish like salmon holds up beautifully to being cooked in an insulated foil pouch. The small amount of vermouth creates enough steam to lightly soften the vegetables and keep the salmon moist. Tarragon’s anise flavor pairs nicely with the sweet fennel and acts as a vibrant foil to the slightly bitter asparagus.
Pernod is a French anise-flavored liqueur. If you don’t have Pernod, you can substitute Herbsaint or dry vermouth, or you can leave it out. Any extra vinaigrette is great on all types of seafood. It’ll keep for at least 3 days in the fridge.
This recipe can easily be scaled up to serve four. Keep the vinaigrette amounts the same, but double the salmon, vegetables, lemon and vermouth. You will likely need to spread the foil packets out over two baking sheets.
Hands On Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
2 tablespoons Creole mustard
1 tablespoon Pernod (optional; see note)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ribs celery, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 bunch skinny asparagus, ends trimmed
1 leek, white part only, sliced into thin 2-inch-long strips
1/2 bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced
2 (6- to 8-ounce) salmon fillets, pin bones removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup dry vermouth
To make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together the Creole mustard, Pernod (if using), cider vinegar, honey, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. In a slow stream, whisk in the olive oil until creamy and emulsified. Whisk in the celery, parsley, scallions and tarragon.
To make the salmon: Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Lay two sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil on a work surface. (If you don’t have heavy duty foil, use a double-thick layer of standard foil for each salmon packet.) In the center of each piece of foil, evenly divide the asparagus, leeks and fennel. Place the salmon on top of the vegetables and lightly season both the fish and the vegetables with salt and pepper. Arrange the lemon slices on top of each salmon fillet. Add 2 tablespoons vermouth to each pouch.
Fold the long sides of the foil to the center of the salmon. Fold the short sides over and pinch the foil to tightly seal into a pouch with the opening on top.
Transfer both pouches to a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the fish is moist and flaky, about 12 to 15 minutes. Open the pouch to expose the fish and vegetables, remove the lemon slices, drizzle liberally with tarragon vinaigrette, and serve immediately.