Salmon Baked in a Bag with Citrus, Olives and Chiles

salmon in a bagServings: 4
Start to finish: 35 minutes (25 active)

1 small orange
1 lemon
Four skinless 4 to 5-ounce center cut salmon fillet pieces
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup olives, preferably oil cured, chopped
1 small serrano chile, sliced thin, crosswise

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Cut half the orange and half the lemon crosswise into thin slices . Juice the remaining half of the orange and lemon.

Place a large piece of parchment paper, about 24-inches long on a sheet pan and fold it in half crosswise. Open the paper, put the right half of the parchment on top of a sheet pan (letting the left half hang off) and arrange half the orange and lemon slices about 2 inches to the right of the center fold, in a rectangle shape, about the size of the four pieces of salmon laid sideways next to each other (perpendicular to the crease). Sprinkle half the rosemary on top of the citrus and top the rosemary with the four pieces of salmon. Sprinkle the fish with some salt and drizzle the citrus juices and olive oil on top. Distribute the chopped olives and sliced chile evenly over the four pieces of salmon and top each piece with one fourth of the remaining rosemary and the remaining orange and lemon slices.

Bring the left half of the parchment up and over the salmon to completely cover it. Starting at the top left of the parchment package, make ¼-inch folds all around the perimeter and press to crimp and seal, until you have completely encased the salmon.

Bake the wrapped salmon on the sheet pan in the middle shelf of the oven for 15 – 18 minutes or until it is just cooked through (you can stick a knife through the parchment and salmon and if it goes easily that means the fish is done).

Cut open the parchment, knock off the citrus slices and transfer the salmon pieces to each of 4 plates. Spoon some of the olives, chile slices, rosemary and juices from the bottom of the parchment over each piece and serve right away.

Borscht Beets
Serves 4 to 6
Hands-of prep time: 15 minutes
Total prep time: 1 hour (longer if using oven method)

2 pounds beets scrubbed and all but 1 inch of the tops removed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 small red onion sliced paper-thin
1 cup sour cream or low fat yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place beets in a large sauce pan and add enough cold water to cover.
Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium high and simmer until tender, 45-50 minutes. (Alternatively, preheat the oven to 350 F, wrap the beets individually in foil, and roast for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours or until tender.)

While the beets are cooking, combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, the vinegar, sugar and caraway seeds with the onion in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.

Remove the beets from the water and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Peel, slice thin, and toss with onion mixture. Stir in the sour cream and dill
and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.


Most Atlantic salmon are farm raised while most Pacific salmon are wild caught. Although farmed salmon outnumber wild salmon 85 to 1 in US markets, only wild-caught salmon from Alaska is certified as sustainable by The Marine Stewardship Council and is considered the best choice when purchasing salmon.

Wild-caught salmon from California, Washington, and Oregon are just considered a good choice, better than farm-raised salmon, but some species have been placed on the Endangered Species list due to (but not limited to) loss of habitat and over fishing.

There are several websites where you can find up-to-date information on sustainable seafood choices, and wallet size guides you print and take with you to the fish store or supermarket.

Here is one of my favorites: http://www.seafoodwatch.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx

Preparing Beets
Use the old egg slicer to slice cooked beets. It is also a great tool for slicing cultivated mushrooms or an avocado that you quarter first.

Handling Beets
To keep your hands from getting stained while preparing beets (and if you hate those surgical gloves as much as I do), rub your hands with vegetable or olive oil before you start. It will keep your hands protected.

How to Cook the Beet Greens
A nice way to cook beet greens is to saute them in olive oil and garlic and then squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top. Wash the greens and then remove the leafy part from the stems and chop the stems. Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the stems first and saute them for a few minutes. The add the leafy greens and the garlic and saute for a few more minutes or until tender. Season with salt and pepper and the lemon juice.

Parchment Bags
I made my own bag by folding a large piece of parchment paper and sealing it with little crimps. You can also assemble the whole layered fish dish in a premade parchment bag, sold by the company “Paper Chef” (http://www.paperchef.com/en/products/cooking_bags).

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Thanks to

Fairway for donating all the food | Chantal for the cookware | Le Creuset for the Dutch ovens | Wustoff for the knives | Boos for the cutting boards | Kitchen Aid for the appliances | Oxo for the small kitchen tools |

3 Responses to Salmon Baked in a Bag with Citrus, Olives and Chiles

  1. Gwen says:

    Excellent cooking and food, love it

  2. Elizabeth Brown says:

    I appreciate this recipe but do not care for olives. Should I just omit or would you recommend a substitute?

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