In our house we try to have fish for dinner at least once a week. Salmon has been our go-to favorite this Summer, and we've really enjoyed having it on the grill, especially in a foil packet. We've had foil packets simply with lemon, salt and pepper but one day I wanted to try something new. I especially wanted to try something with fennel. Off to Pinterest I went, like I usually do :)
I came across this recipe, and it's now one of my new favorites for salmon! It's so easy, it's practically impossible to mess up, and the flavors of lemon thyme, lemon, onion and fennel are perfect and amazing. Since it's early Fall there's still time to grill if you want to, but the oven directions will make this a fresh tasting, year-round favorite!
4 salmon portions/fillets or 1 whole salmon
Olive oil or vegetable oil for coating
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 or 5 fresh lemon thyme, or thyme sprigs, or 1 Tbs. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect grilling over medium-high heat. Or preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
If using a salmon fillet, remove any pin bones with sturdy tweezers. Coat the salmon with oil. Cut a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil large enough to wrap the salmon. If using a whole salmon, place it in the center of the foil and score it 4 or 5 times diagonally through the skin. Put half of the lemon, onion, fennel bulb and tarragon inside the fish and arrange the rest on top. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. If using a salmon fillet, place it, skin side down, in the center of the foil and arrange the lemon, onion, fennel and tarragon down the center. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Fold the foil over the salmon and crimp the edges to seal.
Place the foil-wrapped salmon on the unheated portion of the grill, cover the grill and cook. After 35 minutes for a whole salmon and 25 minutes for a fillet, open the foil and check for doneness by cutting into the fish or testing with an instant-read thermometer. The salmon should be opaque throughout and flake easily when prodded with a fork, or register 125°F on an instant-read thermometer. Continue to cook as needed with the foil opened and the grill covered, 10 to 25 minutes more for the whole salmon, 5 to 15 minutes more for the fillet. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the fish, the heat of the fire and the desired degree of doneness. Do not overcook. Transfer the foil and fish to a large platter. Lift the fish gently with a long spatula and slide the foil out from underneath.
Place the foil packet on a heavy large baking sheet. Bake until the salmon is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Using a large metal spatula, transfer the foil packets to plates and serve.
Garnish with the reserved fennel tops and serve immediately. Whole salmon serves 8 to 10; salmon fillet serves 4 to 6.