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20-Minute, Mess-Free, Salmon—Tonight!

May 27, 2014

Salmon, Asparagus, and Leek in Parchment

Cooking fresh salmon en papillote (that is, in parchment) is a messproof way to coax the most flavor from the fish without adding a lot of oil or butter — and it’s pretty much impossible to dry the salmon out with this cooking method.

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1/2 bunch asparagus (about 8 ounces), trimmed and thinly sliced on the bias
1 small leek, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced, washed well, and drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 skinless salmon fillets (each about 5 ounces and 1 inch thick), preferably wild
1/4 cup packed fresh herbs, such as tarragon, dill, basil, or parsley, or a combination, for serving
Lemon wedges, for serving

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1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Cut four 12-by-17-inch pieces of parchment. Fold each in half crosswise to make a crease, then unfold and lay flat. Toss asparagus and leek with oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Season fish with salt and pepper. Arrange a fillet on one side of crease on each piece of parchment. Top with asparagus mixture, dividing evenly. Fold each piece of parchment over, then make small overlapping pleats to seal open sides, creating half-moon-shaped packets.

3. Bake on 2 rimmed baking sheets, 10 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to plates and carefully cut packets open with kitchen shears (steam will be released). Serve, topped with herbs and squeezed with lemon wedges.

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