Salmon is one of my favourite fish for an Omega-3 fatty acids rich diet. It is high in lean protein that is essential for muscle, bone, skin and teeth health. It is also rich in Tryptophan and amino acids that are responsible for the synthesis of Seratonin (happiness hormone) – so it is a great mood booster.
I particularly recommend this dish due to its nutritious properties in addition to having a bright colour coming from the beetroot marinade which as a bonus adds some colour and style to your table – what is there not to like about it?
It is one of the dishes I highly recommend to my clients who are on a menopause diet programme. In addition, it ticks all the boxes for healthy fish according to the NHS Healthy Fish consumption recommendation for a healthy & balanced diet.
I wanted to add a little bit of a special touch to this highly nutritious fish by injecting a little bit of extra colour and taste with zesty beetroot marinade. The bright colour of beetroot, and zingy flavours of horseradish, apple cider vinegar, and dill work very harmoniously to give the salmon a beautiful uplift. I use frozen dill from Waitrose which is very handy, I always keep this in my freezer.
The salmon fillet(s) need to be marinated for at least 2 hours (overnight is even better) to have the taste and colour of the marinade fully penetrate through the flesh.
I bake them wrapped in parchment paper.” En papillote” is one of my favourite methods of cooking fish and in French it translates as ‘in parchment’, literally describing the cooking method which involves cooking fish (or, less commonly, meat or vegetables) in a pouch of paper or foil and baking in the oven.
I use bamboo sticks to secure the envelope parcel which retains the moisture released while cooking, resulting in a moist and juicy finished product that is partly steamed, partly baked. Method of en papillote is a fantastic way of cooking fish with minimal mess to clear up afterwards as well as a trick for healthy recipes which requires a minimal amount of oil and preparation. It also gives you flexibility in building up your own flavours in the enveloped parcel, by adding your own herbs and spices.
Being a keen follower of the Mediterranean diet, with seafood dishes, I am inclined towards using parsley, red onions, dill and lemon mostly. However, you should not be limited by anyone’s preferences. You can create your own signature flavour combo by adding your favourite herbs and spices. Just make up your own mixture and infuse your dish in the enveloped parcel all together and savour the flavour.
After turning off the heat, It is important to let the fish rest another minute before serving with a wide spatula to ensure that it does not flake off.
The ingredients for the marinade -for approximately 4-6 salmon fillets – are below. Just mix all the ingredients, cover the salmon fillets and let them marinate in a glass container in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours before baking en-papillote (wrapped in parchment paper).
• 2 cooked beetroots, chopped
• 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tsp horseradish cream
• 2 tbsp dill leaves, chopped
• 1tbsp lemon juice
• 1tsp Dijon mustard
• Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• Salt and pepper, to season
Transfer the fish into a tray that is lined with parchment/baking paper that is sprayed with olive oil. Wrap the parchment around the fish and using wooden bamboo sticks/skewers, secure it so that the moisture does not escape from it. Bake according to the instructions on the packaging and the weight of your fish. I bake 4 fillets (approx. 500-600 grams) at 180 C for 15-18 minutes.
On the side, I serve warm baby potatoes and green bean salad garnished with olives, parsley and red onions. For the dressing, I keep it simple and stick to lemon & olive oil. Enjoy and have a great evening!