Salmon Baked in Parchment with Tarragon Spinach
Yield: 4 servings
The technique of cooking in parchment (you can substitute aluminum foil) keeps all the flavor and moisture in and lets you cook without fat. This aromatic dish has only 280 calories per serving.
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- 4 medium Red Bliss potatoes
- 1 pound fresh spinach, trimmed and washed well
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- vegetable seasoning to taste (or season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper)
- vegetable cooking spray
- 4 4-ounce skinless salmon fillets
- 4 fresh tarragon sprigs
Wash the potatoes; place them in a small saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over moderate heat; cook until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain; let stand until cool enough to handle, then slice potatoes 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick.
Place the spinach, chopped tarragon, and wine in a large skillet; place over moderately high heat. Cook, stirring, until the spinach wilts and most of the liquid evaporates, about 5 or 6 minutes; do not overcook. Add vegetable seasoning (or salt and pepper) to taste; set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Fold 4 large squares of parchment paper or aluminum foil in half and cut into heart shapes. Open the hearts and place on a work surface; spray both sides of top surface with vegetable spray.
Divide potatoes evenly among the paper or foil hearts, placing them toward the top and to one side of the center fold. Place 1/4 of the spinach mixture next to the potatoes. Carefully remove all bones from the salmon with tweezers, then place the salmon fillet over the potatoes and spinach. Top with a sprig of tarragon; season to taste with the vegetable seasoning (or salt and pepper). Fold the empty half of the heart over the salmon and seal along curved edge, making several folds to create a sealed packet. Place the packets on a baking sheet.
Bake until the sealed packets expand and puff and the fish is cooked, usually 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately, letting each person cut through and fold back the top of the package.