Salmon with Blueberry Sauce is a perfect healthy and delicious dinner!
Salmon fillets wrapped in a parchment paper pouch (en papillote) and baked in the oven, then topped with a special blueberry conserve that’s made especially for garnishing fresh salmon.
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This blueberry sauce is full of flavor, and tastes great on wonderful Pacific Northwest Salmon.
It’s a simple sauce to prepare, but has lots of flavors going on – from the sweet blueberries, to the tangy balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, and onions. This sauce is a keeper, and it’s perfect over freshly prepared salmon.
It’s the perfect way to enjoy a delicious dinner that celebrates the flavors of the Pacific Northwest.
Learning to cook fish
We cook a lot of fish at home. I find it costs a fraction to cook it at home as compared to going out to restaurants.
I also think that it tastes fresher and much better when prepared at home. (See my note below on how to buy fish for home cooking, and why it’s often fresher at home).
The photo above: the fish has come out of the oven, and is ready to be served.
Cooking en papillote
Well, I can’t get out to the grill right now, so I want to cook the fish inside. And, I love the idea of cooking it in those cute paper pouches, also called en papillote. Where the paper pouch steams the salmon for a healthy and flavorful meal.
Cooking en papillote is pretty basic, though it sounds fancy. You’re simply cooking your meal inside a packet made out of parchment paper.
With the en papillote method all you have to do is add the salmon, any seasonings, and a little butter to the paper pouch. Once the edges are sealed, the paper pouch bakes at high temperatures.
Moisture is released from the salmon as it cooks, and the liquid turns to steam. Because the steam is trapped in the pouch and pressure cannot easily be released, the hot air quickly cooks the fish. When the paper puffs up and expands, that means steam has built up from the moisture and has cooked the food inside.
Delicious and healthy dinner
Then, once the salmon is cooked, simply spoon over the hot blueberry sauce and you have a delicious and healthy dinner.
It makes meal prep really quick and easy.
And, salmon has a flaky flesh and cooks very quickly. I do love how healthy salmon is. It’s packed full of nutrients like omega 3-fatty acids for brain and heart health.
Since we’re all strapped for time during the holiday season, you’ll want to make this delicious and healthy meal easily to fit into your dinner rotation.
How to Fold Parchment Paper to Cook En Papillote
Fold a 14×12″ piece of parchment paper in half. Using kitchen shears, cut the parchment into a heart shape.
Arrange the salmon on one side of the paper. Add a small pat of butter and a splash of wine and/or broth to keep the fish moist and create a light sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
Working from one end, begin tightly folding the open edge of the paper.
Continue folding the paper’s open edge to form a seal. Transfer the packet to a rimmed baking sheet and bake.
How to buy fish
I find that making seafood at home is really pretty easy. Many people are intimidated by cooking it at home, but after you learn a few simple techniques you’ll be cooking seafood at home like a pro!
A fishmonger told us once that all seafood is frozen once it’s caught. Just think about how far it has to come from the ocean to the store or the restaurant, and how that shipping would go if they didn’t freeze it.
So, if you’re buying the stuff from the “fresh” counter, the only things you don’t know are, how long it’s been defrosted, or even how many times it’s been defrosted and refrozen.
This same thing goes for when you eat seafood at a restaurant. You’re never sure how long the fish has been defrosted.
The fishmonger’s suggestion was to always buy frozen seafood.
Balsamic reduction is also called balsamic syrup, and can easily be purchased at most grocery stores. Just look where they sell the balsamic vinegar, and other vinegars, and you’ll probably see it there.
You can also make your own balsamic reduction.
Simply cook equal parts sugar to balsamic vinegar, until the sugar is dissolved, and the mixture is syrupy.
If you’d like to take a look at some recipes here are a couple:
The photo above: all blueberry sauce ingredients in the pan, ready to be cooked down to saucy goodness.
Can I can this sauce?
Place the hot cooked blueberry sauce into hot sterilized jars, filling jars, leaving ¼-inch of headroom. Process the jars in a hot water bath for 5 minutes after water is boiling.
I don’t actually go through the canning process (especially for this small of an amount of sauce), but if you would like to do so, please take a look at the instructions from the USDA’s National Center for Home Food Preservation or the official site from the makers of Ball jars.
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Salmon with Blueberry Sauce Recipe
Salmon En Papillote with Blueberry Sauce
- 2 large salmon filets
- 6 ounces blueberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic reduction
- 1 ½ tablespoons dried onion flakes
- pinch sea salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- Fold a 14×12″ piece of parchment paper in half. Using kitchen shears, cut the parchment into a heart shape.
- Arrange the salmon filet on one side of the paper. Add a small pat of butter and a splash of wine and/or broth to keep the fish moist and create a light sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
- Working from one end, begin tightly folding the open edge of the paper.
- Continue folding the paper’s open edge to form a seal. Transfer the packet to a rimmed baking sheet and bake. Repeat with the second salmon filet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until salmon is easily to flaked with a fork. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish. Fish should flake with a fork when it is done.
- While the salmon bakes. Prepare the blueberry sauce.
- Add the berries, sugar, balsamic reduction, dried onion, salt, and chopped basil to a large stainless pot. Bring all to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the blueberries have cooked down. About 5-10 minutes.
- To serve, place the salmon on a plate, and spoon blueberry sauce over the top.