This is a quick and elegant meal you can make as easily when cooking for one as you can when cooking for a crowd. In fact, cooking in parchment is one of my no-fuss go-to strategies for getting dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes for any night of the week.
This salmon and sweet potato in parchment is a complete meal in a packet, but if you'd like (and I usually do!), plan to either have a leftover grain such as brown rice or quinoa or make a quick-cooking grain such as jasmine rice or couscous while the salmon is in the oven. Although it's not absolutely necessary, I like having something like this to serve alongside to soak up the flavorful cooking juices that collect in the packet.
Today over on A Couple Cooks food blog, I talk about this and other quick-cooking techniques, my take on natural sweeteners, the "way" to eat, how I became passionate about healthy eating, and more! Sonja and Alex, the couple behind the whole foods blog, interviewed me as part of their Healthy and Whole series, and I am honored to be their guest today. They asked great questions that get to the heart of some of today's most controversial food and nutrition topics, so it's a jam-packed session that I hope you enjoy and find valuable in your own journey to whole nourishment. Check out the interview here!
Blood Orange Salmon and Sweet Potato in Parchment
Notes: This recipe works best when the sweet potato is thinly sliced using the thinnest setting on a mandolin. If you don't have a mandolin, slicing as thinly as possible by hand will work but you may need to parboil the sweet potatoes before cooking in parchment.
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1 large blood orange
- 1 large shallot
- 1 red chili (or few big pinches dried chili flakes)
- 2 - 100 gr/~4 oz pieces salmon (preferably wild-caught )*
- 1 lime
- Fresh cilantro
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 - 14 inch (35 cm) pieces parchment
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C)
- Prepare vegetables: Slice sweet potato into very thin rounds using the "extra thin" setting on a mandolin. Cut the ends off the orange, then set orange down on one cut end and carve skin away cutting from top to bottom, following the natural curve of the orange. Slice orange into 6 rounds. Thinly slice shallot and chili.
- Assemble: Place a layer of sweet potato slices, overlapping slightly, in the middle of one piece of parchment. Create a base slightly wider than the salmon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add 3 orange slices, then 1 salmon piece. Sprinkle salmon generously with salt and pepper, then scatter around half the shallot and chili. Lightly season one last time with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lime.
- Seal the packet: Lift the long ends of parchment up over salmon and crease twice, or as much as you have room for (you want it tightly sealed). Then fold the short ends in twice and tuck the folded ends underneath to seal off the packet. Place on a baking sheet; repeat for second parchment package (you may not use the entire sweet potato).
- Cook 9-12 minutes
- Use a wide spatula to transfer packets to plates, open carefully (steam will be very hot), and finish with fresh cilantro and a generous squeeze of lime. Serve with rice, quinoa, or couscous, if desired.
*My salmon pieces were just shy of 1 inch thick, and they cooked in 9-10 minutes. For thicker cuts, cook for 11-12 minutes (try to use pieces no thicker than 1 1/2 inches).