The Smart Baker

Salmon en Papillote with Kalamata Compound Butter

Salmon en Papillote with Kalamata Compound Butter

"Only a few ingredients are required for this “dinner in a bag”- a protein, a vegetable, and some salt and pepper."

There is something dramatic and fun about recipes prepared “en papillote” (in parchment). Your protein and vegetables are cooked all together in a pouch, and while baking, the steam builds up in the pouch. When you are at the dining room table opening up your dinner, the steam pours out adding to the dramatic effect. My first attempt at cooking en papillote was when I was camping, and I was instantly pleased by how easy meals prepared this way are to put together, how tasty they are, and how virtually no cleanup is required! 

Salmon en PapilloteWhile having no dishes is a huge perk to cooking en papillote, in culinary school I learned why this cooking method has maintained its relevance for restaurants and home cooks alike. When food is cooked in greaseproof paper, it cooks in its own juices providing more flavor! Ingredients will cook quickly because they are surrounded by moist heat, and little fat is required, which is a huge health benefit! 

Preparing Salmon en Papillote

Only a few ingredients are required for this “dinner in a bag”- a protein, a vegetable, and some salt and pepper. I decided to use salmon for this recipe and pair it with fennel and cherry tomatoes. To give an extra boost of flavor, I decided to add a slice of compound butter into the parcel before baking.

Compound butter is softened butter whipped with any savory or sweet ingredients you like. The options are endless! Today I’m sharing a version with kalamata olives, capers, and lemon zest. I love the brightness and saltiness of these ingredients paired with the subtle sweetness of the salmon. You combine the ingredients then roll tightly into a piece of pre-cut Perfect Parchment and place in the fridge or freezer. A nice slice of compound butter is great on roasted vegetables, grilled meats or fish, bread, even in sweet applications like pancakes, scones, or waffles. And you can make it weeks (even months!) in advance. Here are some of my other favorite compound butter flavors: 

  • Curry Powder, Lime Zest, Cilantro
  • Smoked Paprika, Rosemary, Salt
  • Basil, Sundried Tomato, Garlic
  • Horseradish and Chives
  • Maple Syrup and Cinnamon 

Give this recipe a try, and experiment with different proteins and vegetables cooked “en papillote” and pair them with different compound butters! 

Making Kalamata Compound Butter


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