- 3 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 (14-ounce) can dicedÂ tomatoes in juice, drained
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about Â˝Â lemon)
- 1Â˝ teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or Âľ teaspoonÂ dried
- 1Â˝ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or Âľ teaspoonÂ dried
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Âľ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each)
Cooking fish al cartoccioâ€”literally, â€śin a bagâ€ťâ€”is aÂ technique thatâ€™s been used by Italians (and otherÂ cultures) for a long time. Itâ€™s actually a method ofÂ steaming rather than baking; the tight wrapping seals inÂ all the juices and aromas so you end up with aÂ mouthwatering combination of flavors. Traditionally, theÂ fish is wrapped in parchment paper, but I like to useÂ aluminum foil because itâ€™s easier to close tightly.
- Preheat the Oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl,Â stir the tomatoes, shallots, 2 tablespoons of oil, lemonÂ juice, oregano, thyme, Â˝ teaspoon of salt, and ÂĽÂ teaspoon of pepper. In the center of each of four largeÂ sheets of aluminum foil, spoon Â˝ teaspoon of oil. PlaceÂ 1 salmon fillet atop each sheet of foil and turn to coatÂ with the oil. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with theÂ remaining Â˝ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. SpoonÂ the tomato mixture over the salmon.
- Fold the sides ofÂ the foil over the fish and tomato mixture, coveringÂ completely, and seal the packets closed. Place the foilÂ packets on a large, heavy baking sheet. (The salmonÂ packets can be prepared up to this point 6 hours ahead.Â Refrigerate until ready to bake.)
- Bake until the salmon is just cooked through, about 25Â minutes. Using a large metal spatula, transfer the foilÂ packets to plates and serve. (You may want to unwrapÂ and plate the fish in the kitchen before serving.)