- 3 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice, drained
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about ½ lemon)
- 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or ¾ teaspoon dried
- 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or ¾ teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each)
Cooking fish al cartoccio—literally, “in a bag”—is a technique that’s been used by Italians (and other cultures) for a long time. It’s actually a method of steaming rather than baking; the tight wrapping seals in all the juices and aromas so you end up with a mouthwatering combination of flavors. Traditionally, the fish is wrapped in parchment paper, but I like to use aluminum foil because it’s easier to close tightly.
- Preheat the Oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir the tomatoes, shallots, 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. In the center of each of four large sheets of aluminum foil, spoon ½ teaspoon of oil. Place 1 salmon fillet atop each sheet of foil and turn to coat with the oil. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with the remaining ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Spoon the tomato mixture over the salmon.
- Fold the sides of the foil over the fish and tomato mixture, covering completely, and seal the packets closed. Place the foil packets on a large, heavy baking sheet. (The salmon packets can be prepared up to this point 6 hours ahead. Refrigerate until ready to bake.)
- Bake until the salmon is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Using a large metal spatula, transfer the foil packets to plates and serve. (You may want to unwrap and plate the fish in the kitchen before serving.)