orange-basil salmon packets
1 small fennel bulb with fronds, core removed, sliced thin, fronds reserved
2 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 1/2 pieces
½ pound large asparagus, sliced on the diagonal into 1/2 inch pieces
½ cup fresh orange juice
zest of orange
6 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh fennel fronds the dilllike greens on the fennel bulb chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut two 16 × 13 inch pieces of parchment paper. Fold each in half vertically, so you have 8 × 13-inch sides. Cut each into a wide half-heart shape, with the crease as the center of the heart. Unfold.
For each serving, place half of the fennel slices on a parchment heart near the crease. Top with a salmon fillet and season with salt and pepper. Surround the salmon with half of the carrots and asparagus. Stir together the orange juice and zest, 6 tablespoons of the basil, and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Pour half of mixture evenly over the salmon. Top with half of the chopped fennel fronds. Brush the outer edges of parchment with olive oil; then fold the parchment over to re-create the half-heart, and tightly crimp the open sides together, folding firmly every inch or so to tightly seal the parcel.
Bake until the packets are puffed and you can hear the juices inside the packet sizzling, 10 to 13 minutes. Using a wide spatula, transfer each packet to a dinner plate. Carefully open the packets, sprinkle the contents with the remaining basil and fennel fronds, and serve immediately.