The summer is finally here in the Pacific Northwest…that means that the temperature is above 70 and wild salmon is fairly cheap. So yesterday a BBQ was in order!

We went for a different spin of salmon on the grill and cooked it “al cartoccio”.

In Italian “al cartoccio” refer to the practise of cooking something wrapped in foil (or baking paper). There is “pasta” al cartoccio, there is “fish” al cartoccio. Now that I think about I have never seen any meat-based food being cooked using this technique. The one think that I like about it – especially for seafood – is that keeps the fish moist.

The list of ingredients is fairly flexible. The basic idea is to get a big piece of fish (or small for that matter) and a few veggies to keep it “fresh” (think tomatoes, leeks, fennel, onions, etc…). My list from yesterday:

Salmon fillet (i believe it was close to two pounds)
one tomato
red onions
few slices of lemon
italian parsley (you could also add time and/or dill)
some olive oil (extra virgin – about 3 tablespoons)
white whine (about 1/4 cup)
salt and pepper
The steps are super easy.

1. Take a big piece of foil and create a “baking pan” look-a-like shape, lay the salmon fillet on top of it and add all your ingrendients (veggies should be chopped).

2. Take another piece of foil and properly cover the fish, like in the picture below.

3. Time to cook it! In this case is super easy…just cook it on the bbq!

4. Now the tricky part is the cooking time. The good news is the the wine, olive oil, veggies and cartoccio-effect will keep the salmon very moist. I usually let it cook for about 25-30 mins. The result is usually great for couple of reasons (1) when you break the cartoccio the vapor comes out and there is a big WOW effect (2) it is actually very good and fresh.

Keep it mind that you can use this technique for much smaller portions. In fact, I would advise to do so and possibly go for simple portions. The WOW factor will be even bigger as each guest can open their own cartoccio!


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