Salmon and Lentils 
en Papillote with Cilantro Pesto

SERVES 4 An easy and elegant
way to cook fish, the en papillote method, or wrapping and baking
in parchment paper, allows you to place all your ingredients in a pouch in the oven to steam them to moist, tender deliciousness.

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup (about 1⁄2 bunch) cilantro leaves, packed

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon paprika

4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets or 8-ounce salmon steaks

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups cooked lentils

6 ounces baby spinach

20 cherry tomatoes of various colors, halved


Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, toast the cumin and coriander, stirring until just fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the spices onto a plate to cool, and set aside.

In a blender or food processor, combine 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1⁄2 cup cilantro leaves, lemon juice and zest, garlic, paprika, cumin, and coriander.

Prepare 4 parchment-paper squares, each as long as the roll is wide. Season the salmon with the salt. Place 1⁄2 cup cooked lentils onto the center of each of the 4 parchment-paper squares.
Top each with one quarter of the spinach, 1 salmon fillet, and 10 tomato halves. Slather the salmon and tomatoes with the blended cilantro paste, and drizzle each with 1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil. Fold the parchment squares to enclose the ingredients and crimp the edges to seal. Bake on a baking sheet for 15 to 18 minutes, depending on the fish’s thickness.

Open each packet (careful of the steam), transfer the packets to a serving plate, garnish with the remaining cilantro,
 and serve.


Photo credit: Photography Maren Caruso / Styling Alexandra Nardi

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