Salmon, like other oily fish (herring, sardines, mackerel), is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation, protect against heart attacks, and possibly reduce one's chances of developing cancer. I recommend you eat two to three servings a week of salmon or another oily fish rich in omega-3s. When you want something out of the ordinary, this is an easy and elegant recipe to try. It requires cooking parchment, which you will find in rolls or sheets at kitchen-supply stores and even many supermarkets. Parchment-wrapped food turns into taut packages as steam inflates the sealed pouches. The result is a delicate mix of textures and aromas that's sure to please.
8 ounces thin spaghetti
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh dill or parsley, chopped
1 cup carrots julienned
1 cup zucchini, julienned
1 cup asparagus tips
1 cup red bell pepper, julienned
24-ounce salmon filet, cut into four 6-ounce pieces
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 large sheets of parchment paper
1. Heat oven to 400°.
2. Cook thin spaghetti in rapidly boiling water until al dente, drain, toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and chopped fresh dill or parsley.
3. Rinse salmon filets and pat dry. Spread Dijon mustard evenly over the top of each one.
4. Prepare the parchment. First, fold each piece of parchment in half. With scissors, cut the shape of half a heart from the folded side. (Remember the valentines you made in grade school?) Open the heart shape and place 1/4 of the pasta on the center of the paper, top with a salmon filet, and add the vegetables. Bring the sides of the heart over the fish and fold the edges together - starting at the top of the heart, overlapping the folded edge as you go. Fold the tip several times to secure it.
5. Place the pouches in the middle of the hot oven and bake for 10 minutes. Serve immediately in the sealed pouches, opening them just before eating.