Friday, September 14, 2012

Make-ahead salmon with green beans, tomatoes, and olives

I'm a big fan of "emergency dinners" that I can keep in the freezer for nights I don't have time to prep or clean. It is a super huge added bonus as well if it includes veggies. This recipe does both, and has the additional bonus of being frozen and baked in a foil packet. So, there's virtually no cleanup: just put the foil packet on a baking sheet and roast in the oven.

You will want to start out with frozen salmon fillets for this. From what I understand, fish (even most of the "fresh" fish at the seafood counter) is quickly flash-frozen on the boat when it is caught. If you stick a fillet in your home freezer, it creates larger ice chunks as the moisture consolidates from the slower freezing process, leading to a mushy texture when thawed. So buy the pre-frozen stuff.

This recipe is adapted from this one in Fine Cooking magazine. It calls for saffron, which is quite expensive, so you can leave it out if you would like. I bought some Badia brand saffron which is not terribly pricey. 

Here's some photos that show the wrapping process for the foil packets:

Fold the bottom side of the foil up over the salmon

Bring in the sides

Then fold over the top

Here's what it looks like out of the oven

Serves 4


  • Four frozen salmon fillets, 4-6 oz each
  • One 1 lb bag frozen green beans, not thawed
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, halved or sliced
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, oregano, or marjoram leaves
  • Pinch saffron (optional but recommended; you could try substituting a pinch of turmeric instead)
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing the oil (I put some in my Misto)
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Combine the tomatoes, olives, thyme, saffron, 1 Tbs olive oil, and pepper in a medium bowl.
  2. Tear four large pieces of foil and spray with olive oil. Divide the frozen green beans evenly among the foil pieces. Spray with a bit of oil and sprinkle with salt. 
  3. Set a salmon fillet atop each green bean pile. Spray with oil and sprinkle with salt.
  4. Spoon the tomato mixture onto each salmon fillet.
  5. Wrap the foil packets as shown. If you tear the foil, wrap again with another layer. Keep in freezer until ready to eat.
  6. To cook, thaw packets in the fridge overnight. Preheat oven to 425 F. Set foil packets, seam side up on a baking sheet. Cook for about 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your fillets so check on one after 15 minutes.


GiGi Eats Celebrities said...

This is my kind of recipe, looks amazingly good! :)

Aidreana said...

Did you freeze the fish just in the foil with no freezer bag?

Erica said...

Aidreana, I froze the fish in just the foil and transferred the foil packs to freezer bags after they were solid.

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