What's for Dinner: Aromatic Salmon in a Pouch

Cooking in a pouch is an excellent way to prepare fish because it keeps the flesh moist while delicately infusing it with the flavors of the ingredients that surround it. Aluminum foil makes a pouch that's easy to seal.

Credit: How to Cook Italian by Giuliano Hazan

Servings: 4


  • 12 ounces ripe tomatoes
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 10 to 12 sprigs flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 to 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds skinless salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F on convection heat or 425 degrees F on regular bake.

Peel the tomatoes, remove the seeds and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Finely chop enough of the parsley leaves to measure 3 tablespoons. Coarsely chop enough of the oregano leaves to measure 2 teaspoons. Mix the garlic, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the oregano and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Butterfly the salmon fillet by slicing horizontally along its thicker side so that the fillet opens like a book. Do not cut all the way through to the other side. Tear a sheet of extra-wide heavy-duty aluminum foil large enough to wrap around the fish completely, leaving enough room for the steam to circulate around the fish as it cooks. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the center of the foil and place the fish over it. Spread the herb mixture on the inside and outside of the salmon fillet, then close it like a book. Sprinkle with the white wine. Spread the tomatoes over the fish and sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley on top. Season with salt and pepper and seal the pouch, making sure not to leave any openings.

Place the pouch on a baking sheet and put it in the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on how thick the fish is. If you are unsure whether the fish is cooked or not, partially open the pouch and check with a fork. It should be slightly pink in the center and flake easily. When it is done, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Gently open the foil, taking care not to spill the juices. Slide the contents onto a serving dish. Serve at once.

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You'll need a baking sheet to put the pouch on when you cook the fish. Shop for a baking sheet.

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