Salmon Baked in Foil with Lemon and Fennel

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After a BBQ-heavy long labor day weekend, welcome the [short] week with a simple salmon suggestion. It’s a light, healthy, and fast dish that can be served any time of the year, but is especially lovely at the end of the summer. It also requires minimal skill (i.e. can you cut up a tomato? You’ve got this!) and is one of those dishes that looks pretty on the plate. I serve this recipe on a bed of sautéed baby kale and a side of tomatoes kissed with balsamic vinegar for color and extra nutrients. They’re pretty tasty, too.

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Serves: 4 People

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large filets of salmon
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 bulb of fennel and fronds
  • 4 cups baby kale
  • 1 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Instructions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a baking sheet, put one large sheet of aluminum foil, and run another sheet on top of that, perpendicular to it, so it looks like an “X”. Place your salmon filets (skin side down if yours have skin) on the aluminum foil.

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Coat the salmon with 1/2 Tb. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Then, chop up your fennel bulb:

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Chop your fennel fronds (these give such a delightful flavor, I promise!)

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Cut up your two lemons into thin circles

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Take your chopped fennel, and your lemon, and layer these on top of the seasoned salmon. The fennel bulb has a slight licorice aroma, that diminishes as it’s roasted. The fronds taste fresh, like herbs. And, lemons give the salmon a zing and a brightness that brings out the almost nutty flavors in the fish.

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Wrap up the tin foil into a packet. Start with the innermost tin foil, and then do the same with the outer one

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Place your packet in the 400 degree oven, and set the timer fro 25 minutes. While the salmon is baking, you will chop your tomatoes and sauté your baby kale.

Chop the  tomatoes and drizzle them with 1tsp. of balsamic. Let the tomatoes soak up the balsamic while the salmon cooks. They’ll pair nicely with the lemon infused salmon.

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Five minutes before the salmon is done, place your baby kale in a large pan on the stove top. Turn the stove up to “high”, throw in 2 Tb. of water, and quickly stir. The kale will almost immediately begin to wilt. The kale should be completely sautéed within 1-2 minutes.

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When it’s done, transfer to plates, in preparation for plating the salmon. The buzzer should be going off on the oven soon. Pull out your packet, and using oven mitts, carefully unwrap. It should look something like this:

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You can tell the salmon is done because the salmon will be sweating white, as you can see above.

All that’s left is plating the salmon on top of the baby kale, and arranging the tomatoes around the plate. Dinner is served!

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