I don't like summer, but it's getting to the point where I don't entirely hate it either. It's that blissful redeeming moment of the season when the tomatoes crop up. Fat red baubles strung onto the vine. Little yellow tear drops. Jolly heaving heirlooms. Suddenly the fact that they're fruit makes sense. I don't stop myself from popping them into my mouth like sweet-tart bursting grapes.
This is a simple dish, the type that I'm becoming more fond of, especially during summer when I'm hot and harried and never in the frame of mind to make myself any hotter. Tomatoes are usually paired with basil, but rosemary matches so beautifully with salmon that I performed a sly swap. I rub with salmon with just a drizzle too much olive oil, spiked with chopped fresh rosemary. Pack it in a parcel with those ruddy cherry tomatoes, and bake until they burst. The salmon gives off its own distinctive juice, which mixes with the fresh, mildly sweet and tart juice of the tomatoes and the fruity, almost thick olive oil. The freshness of the rosemary almost acts like mint, imparting a clean bite that reminds me of just-washed wood floors. And the fact that it all stews together in a parchment packet that you can just then throw away—well, not that this dish needs saving grace, but I think I just found one anyway.
Serve it with a bright and lemony fresh salad, and some crusty bread. Just as good outdoors as in.
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 5 minutes
- Total time:17 minutes
- 4 8-ounce boneless, skinless fillets of salmon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
Preheat the oven to 500°F. Tear off 4 large rectangles of parchment paper or aluminum foil.
In a small bowl or a glass, mix together the olive oil and rosemary, and season the mixture liberally with salt and pepper. Sit 1 salmon fillet on a piece of parchment, and pour 1 tablespoon of the rosemary oil over the fish. Using your hands, rub the fish in the oil, and top with 5 halved cherry tomatoes. Fold the parchment (or foil) into a sealed packet, and place on a large baking sheet. Repeat with the other 3 pieces of fish.
Bake the parcels until the fish have cooked and the tomatoes have burst, about 12 minutes. Serve with a small salad, and crusty bread.