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September 2004 Issue
Salmon Roasted in Grape Leaves
by Ronda L. Halpin
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Salmon is both good and good for you. However, some of the best cooking techniques for this favored seafood -- those using very high heat -- can result in a dry entree. But that doesn't have to be the case. What's the answer?

Wrapping your salmon in grape leaves.

Brined grape leaves have been used for holding all kinds of stuffing in Mediterranean cooking for eons. So, one day, when faced with some absolutely lovely pieces wild salmon, I decided to follow suit. If you can wrap rice or ground lamb in grape leaves, why not salmon?

So I rubbed the salmon with oil and some spices and tried it out. The result? A perfectly cooked piece of salmon enveloped in a crispy, salty layer of grape leaves! I added some couscous dotted with fresh vegetables and a nice Greek salad and celebrated a new way to roast foods that can benefit from the roasting technique, but are prone to drying out.

It's become a lifesaver for all kinds of fish and seafood. And the best thing about it? It's an incredibly quick and easy way to get dinner on the table. You spend about five minutes preparing the meal and the next twenty or so letting the oven do the work for you. It means you actually have time to put together a salad, pour yourself a glass of wine and actually ask everyone about their days. All this can be yours ... in the middle of the week!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

 

Salmon Roasted in Grape Leaves

  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. salmon fillet -- boned, skinned and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 T. sesame oil
  • 8-10 large brined grape leaves
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Combine the paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the prepared salmon fillets with the sesame oil and sprinkle generously with the spice mixture.

Using about 2 grape leaves per salmon serving, carefully wrap the fillets in the leaves. Make sure all of the fish is covered and overlap the leaves where necessary.

Place the fillets in a glass baking dish and make sure that the leaves are secure. If positioning the fillets is not successful, try using toothpicks to secure the leaves in place. Roast the fish for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
 



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