Salmon en Papillote with Arugula Pesto

This stunning seasonal recipe proves that big flavors come in small, delicious packages.


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  • 4 large squares parchment paper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ cup packed arugula leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs. wild Alaskan salmon, cut into 4 equal pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Fold one parchment square in half, and draw half heart shape on paper. Cut and unfold to make heart-shaped piece of parchment. Repeat with remaining parchment pieces.
  2. Combine olive oil, arugula, basil, and garlic in food processor, and process into thick paste, adding water to thin if needed, 1 Tbs. at a time. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Wash salmon, and pat dry. Place one parchment heart on flat surface. Arrange one piece of fish on one half of parchment. Spread pesto evenly over fish. Fold parchment over fish. Starting at pointed end of parchment, crimp edges together, making 1/4-inch folds around fish to create a half-moon. Place on baking sheet, and repeat with remaining parchment, fish, and pesto.
  4. Bake 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Transfer packets to individual serving plates, and slit parchment open just before serving.