One-Pot Wonders

Foil Roasted Salmon and Leeks with an Aromatic Jus

May 11, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

This is now my go-to method to cook salmon in the winter and spring, when the weather doesn’t always allow us to get to our grill. There are many reasons I love it. First, it is a great method to cook whole salmon if you want to scale up for lots of guests. It is also forgiving – because of the ‘jus’, the meat stays tender and moist if you let it go a few extra minutes. The jus is flavorful, like a luscious seafood stock that you can dip crusty bread into. Finally, the ingredient list is adaptable. In the winter, it’s easy to find leeks. In the spring, you can substitute spring onions and green garlic with their lovely long leaves. I suggest leaving citrus out of this, as it tends to make the jus too sour. —monkeymom

What You'll Need
  • 1 large leek (you can substitute green garlic or spring onions)
  • 1 large shallot, sliced (you can substitute onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced thinly
  • 4-6 fresh tarragon or thyme stems (you can substitute your herb of choice)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 pounds salmon filet
  • salt and pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice leek in half lengthwise beginning at white end but not cutting through green end. Rinse thoroughly under cold water separating leaves to remove trapped dirt. Cut green ends off of leek and reserve. Slice white and light green parts.
  3. Select a baking sheet large enough to accommodate the fish. Lay out a long double length of heavy-duty aluminum foil on top of the baking sheet across the shorter end of the sheet. Place another perpendicular to the first.
  4. Lay out the leek greens on the foil to form a bed where your salmon can nestle. Add half of the sliced leeks, shallots, garlic, herbs and bay leaves. Place the cleaned salmon on top of greens. Generously salt and pepper the both sides of the salmon. Drizzle all over with olive oil and rub to cover top and bottom. Lay tarragon or other herb stems across the top of the fish and cover the top with the rest of the sliced leeks.
  5. Optional step: insert an electronic meat thermometer probe inside the thickest end of the salmon. This will help you monitor the cooking process without opening the foil.
  6. Bring up the edges of the foil along both ends of the salmon. Add the wine. Seal the edges together to form a compact tent around the salmon (let the cord of the thermometer poke through one of the seams if you are using one). Repeat with the second layer of foil. The salmon can rest until you are ready to roast.
  7. Place in oven. Roast until internal temperature is 140 degrees. For a 2-3 lb salmon filet this took about 25-30 minutes.
  8. Let rest for at least 10 minutes. Unwrap and remove to serving platter. Discard green leek ends.Top exposed flesh with jus and vegetables.
  9. Note: This is also a fantastic way to cook whole salmon. For a 4lb salmon, you can use relatively the same amount of ingredients. Increase cooking time to 35-40 minutes.
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  • Elizabeth Ellers
    Elizabeth Ellers
  • MaureenOnTheCape
  • sel et poivre
    sel et poivre
  • crispylikechicken
  • monkeymom

Recipe by: monkeymom

My favorite distraction is to cook. Though science and cooking/baking have a lot in common, I'm finding that each allows me to enjoy very different parts of my life. Cooking connects me with my heritage, my family, friends, and community. I'm really enjoying learning from the food52 community, who expose me to different ingredients and new ways to cook.

9 Reviews

J H. January 16, 2017
Great recipe! Will make again. I used a 2.3 lb fillet for 25 min. It was overcooked a bit. Internal temp was at 135. Next time, I'll aim for 20 min and then check internal temp earlier. The aroma was fantastic!
Elizabeth E. February 11, 2016
Excellent! For three people, I cooked about 1 lb 3 oz (or slightly more than 6 oz per person). I sauteed the leeks, shallots and garlic in a little butter first, as Monkeymom suggests in the comments, and roasted for about 22 minutes. I cut the salmon into serving pieces BEFORE roasting, and butted them together. Made the serving easier.
MaureenOnTheCape May 6, 2013
When made exactly to specifications, I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't think this is delicious. This will be my go-to salmon preparation from now on. It is easy, fresh and unique and it was a big hit at the dinner table last night.
sel E. April 13, 2013
Hi monkeymom. I tried this tonight and although the salmon was cooked perfectly, I didn't like the sauce at all. In all fairness, I didn't have any white wine so used vermouth instead and the leeks ended up with a bitter aftertaste. It's a shame really because the smell was really enticing and the dish just took 5 minutes to assemble, which is always a plus when you've got a toddler screaming for attention somewhere. I would love to give this another go so was wondering if there's any particular type of wine that I should use/avoid. Thanks!
monkeymom April 13, 2013
Hi sel et poivre. I don't have much experience with vermouth. I like less dry white wines, like reislings but have used a chardonnay and that has been fine. Another way to make this different is to saute the leeks in butter first. It is an extra step but since the salmon cooks fast, it gives the leeks a head start to get melty. I do a variation where I saute the leeks in butter and let it cool, then put it through a food processor to make a paste. I spread that on top then cook in foil. Hope you may find the better!
crispylikechicken August 7, 2012
I absolutely LOVE this recipe- I don't have a grill and I'm always looking for new things to do with my proteins. This salmon has a beautiful flavor and presentation- a definite wow factor when i'm having company. Great success!
nilaya June 3, 2011
I made this for dinner last night, and it was absolutely divine. Made it pretty much to the recipe, using filets and both fresh tarragon and fresh thyme. The salmon was so moist, and fragrant from the scallions and leeks and herbs. I never want to make salmon any other way! Thank you!
monkeymom December 21, 2010
Hi Peter, I'm wondering what size fish you used? When I've done it with the 2lbs indicated or larger, the veggies generally soften considerably within the 25-30 minutes it cooked (or 40 minutes for a larger whole fish). However, drbabs mentioned that when she did smaller pieces she did saute the vegetables first and that worked well for her. Please let me know. I can also edit the recipe as well so I'm interested in your feedback!