Do you want to know the secret to make something sound fancier than it is? Say it in French.
Take this salmon dish, for example. The technique is simple: Take a piece of parchment paper, arrange your ingredients on one half of it and fold the edges to form a packet.
Your loved one might be impressed that you chose to create a beautiful crust for the fish using hormone-healthy coconut oil, rich, nutty almonds, bright parsley and lemon zest.
They might even be more impressed if they knew that this elegant fish dish came together in 10 minutes, and took an equally short amount of time to cook in the oven. But we highly recommend doing your best Marion Cotillard or Gerard Depardieu impression and presenting your packets by their French name — en papillote — for the extra wow factor.
If you are looking for a more indulgent (and certainly more French) experience, feel free to substitute grass-fed butter for the coconut oil. But we love how the hint of coconut plays off the fresh ginger, herbs and almonds, and melts to form the most luscious sauce for the fish and green beans. I mean, haricots verts.
Makes 2 servings
1/4 cup raw almonds
2 garlic cloves
½ inch fresh ginger, peeled
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, parsley or chives)
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil at room temperature (not melted)
1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
Zest of 1 lemon
1 lemon, cut into quarters
1/2 pound haricots verts or French green beans
Two 6-ounce skin-on salmon fillets
- Heat the oven to 400 F.
- In a small food processor, pulse the almonds, garlic, ginger and herbs until finely ground. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and stir in the coconut oil, tamari and lemon zest.
- Arrange two pieces of parchment paper, about the length of a baking sheet, on a clean work surface. Fold each piece of paper in half, lengthwise. Making each packet one at a time, divide the haricots verts or green beans between the packets and arrange on half of the parchment paper (positioned towards the fold). Top with the salmon fillet. Season the beans with salt and add the juice from one lemon quarter to each. Smear half of the almond-coconut oil mixture on top of the salmon. Fold the top half of the paper over the salmon and fold the edges, origami-style, until the packet is sealed. It will look kind of like a half heart. Do not worry if it comes unraveled slightly, so long as you’ve made clean creases and no air can get out.
- Arrange the packets on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 12 minutes for medium-rare.
- Serve the salmon directly from the packets with the remaining lemon wedges on the side.