Cooking food in a sealed packet (en papillote) is one of the best ways to preserve nutrients and use a minimum of fat. The traditional method is to cook the food in a packet made of parchment paper. A square sheet of cooking parchment is folded in half and trimmed to a shape similar to half a heart. A simpler method is to use aluminum foil, as described in this salmon recipe.


1/3 cup water

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon rosemary, minced

1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

4 skinless salmon fillets (5 ounces each)


1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the water over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, spinach, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the rosemary, and cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the beans and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice.

2. Cut four pieces of foil 12 x 18 inches each. With the short end of the foil facing you, spoon the spinach-bean mixture onto the bottom half of each sheet, leaving a 2-inch border around the edges. Top each mound with a salmon fillet. Sprinkle the salmon with the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and ½ teaspoon salt.

3. Fold the foil over the vegetables and fish, folding the edges over to seal. Place the packets on a baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Carefully open one package (be careful—steam will escape) and check for doneness. If the fish isn’t done, reseal the packet and return the baking sheet to the oven. Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts

PER SERVING 295 calories, 5.5g total fat (0.9g saturated), 74mg cholesterol, 7g dietary fiber, 26g carbohydrate, 37g protein, 764mg sodium

Good source of: beta carotene, folate, magnesium, niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, selenium, thiamin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D

If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for a Healthy Heart, edited by Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 12 Sep 2011

Last Modified: 24 Mar 2015