Dinner Tonight: Salmon Papillotes + Creamy Cucumber Side

July  2, 2013

The trick to a fully satisfying meal is to play with balance, and this combination strikes the perfect one. Crunchy cucumbers are paired with soft, steamed salmon. A creamy sauce with lemon cools the bold flavor of peppercorns and ginger. Finally, the bit of dill in both recipes ties this Dinner Tonight together.

The Menu 

Click through on the recipe photos or titles to see (and save and print) the full recipes, but we've also written you a handy grocery list and game plan below.

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Salmon Papillotes with Red Peppercorns, Lime and Fresh Ginger by Babette's Feast



Creamy Cucumber "Side" by Lizthechef



The Grocery List

Serves 4, with leftover salmon

5 fillets of salmon (about 7 ounces each)
2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 tablespoons red peppercorns
1 ½ limes, freshly juiced
5 sprigs, plus two tablespoons fresh dill
5 teaspoons thick cream
1 tablespoon fresh chives cut into small pieces
1 organic, English cucumber (about 1 lb sized)
1/2 Vidalia onion, peeled
1/2 cup best quality Greek yogurt
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon

We know you've got a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator so you'll have onion, salt, pepper, olive oil, rice wine vinegar, and cane sugar on hand. If not, add those to the list!

The Plan

1. Get your cucumber side started. Slice the cucumber and onion as thinly as possible, place slices in a colander, sprinkle them with salt, and seat the colander over a bowl. Refrigerate.

2. While the mixture is refrigerating, turn to the salmon. Preheat your oven. Make your foil packets, and place the salmon inside of them, skin-side down. Season them with the salt, Sichuan pepper, lime juice, dill, and ginger.

3. Bake in the oven around 10 minutes, depending on how thick the fish fillets are. The papillote, if closed tightly, should blow up with steam.

7. While the salmon is baking, take the cucumber and onion mixture out of the refrigerator. Rinse the salt from the cucumber and onion. Pat the slices dry using a kitchen towel.

8. Turn the cucumber and onion into a medium-sized bowl and add the sugar and vinegar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Fold in the yogurt, dill and lemon zest. Stick back in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

9. When the salmon packets are out, discard the dill. Place 1 teaspoon of thick cream on top of each salmon fillet, sprinkle with the cream, chives, and fleur de sel, and serve with the cucumbers. Enjoy!

Photos by Sarah Shatz

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    Hannah Nickerson
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    Emma Wartzman
Emma Wartzman

Written by: Emma Wartzman


Lizthechef July 2, 2013
Thanks so much for featuring my cucumber recipe - reminds me to make it, now that it is summer here in San Diego.
Chestertucky July 2, 2013
So, chives = onion in the recipe? You use both terms -- one for the cucumber side, one for the garnish on the salmon at the end.
Emma W. July 2, 2013
Oh, I was confused what you were originally saying. Sorry! The onion (1/2 Vadalia, sliced) was left off that ingredient list by accident. I just updated it so it should be there now!
Chestertucky July 2, 2013
The ingredients list has chives but no onion???
Emma W. July 2, 2013
Yep, chives are much milder and they go better with the salmon!
Christinekim July 2, 2013
What temperature so you bake the salmon at? Thanks!
Emma W. July 2, 2013
350 degrees. If you click on the individual recipes you'll see more detailed steps and notes!
Christinekim July 2, 2013
thank you! I was looking on my iPhone so it may not have gotten to that much detail compared to the full web site :) I am going to try this recipe tonight!
Emma W. July 2, 2013
So glad! Let us know how it all turns out!
Hannah N. July 2, 2013
MY dinner tonight -- thanks Emma!