Salmon in Parchment with Sweet Corn, Basil and Tomatoes

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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks (white part only), diced
  • Kernels cut from 3 ears corn
  • 8 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 3/4 pint sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 (16-inch) sheets parchment paper, folded in half and cut into semi-circles
  • 6 (6- to 8-ounce) Northwest salmon fillets, skin and pin-bones removed
  • 6 tablespoons prepared basil pesto (optional)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon, to garnish


Melt the butter in a sauté pan. Stir in the leeks and sauté a few minutes until they begin to wilt. Add the corn kernels and sauté until the corn and leeks begin to caramelize. Stir in the fresh basil and the tomatoes. Turn off the heat.

Take one piece of parchment at a time and lay it open on the counter. On the lower portion of the fold, place 2 large spoonfuls of the corn-tomato sauce snug against the middle line, leaving a generous ring of paper around the edge of the parchment. Place 1 salmon fillet over the sauce. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto over the salmon and another spoonful of the sauce atop the pesto. Add a sprinkling of kosher salt and a grind or two of black pepper. Fold the top (empty) side of the parchment over the salmon side. Beginning at one end, make small overlapping folds as you move along the outside edge, tucking the last fold under the sealed packet. Place each on a sheet-pan and repeat the process. Refrigerate.

To cook: Bake the salmon on the sheet pan in a preheated 450° F oven for 15 minutes. If the parchment begins to brown and puff a bit, that’s a good visual cue for “it’s done.”

To serve: Use kitchen shears to cut a slit in the center of the package, garnish with a generous hit of freshly grated lemon zest and serve immediately.

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