Dairy Farmers of Canada

Atlantic Salmon & Asparagus en Papillote with Lemon Caper Sauce

This recipe is taken from the 2010 Milk Calendar. Cooking fish in a paper packet keeps it beautifully moist as it steams to perfection with the gentle seasonings. The light sauce with a touch of tang adds an extra-special touch to this classic dish.

  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cooking: 15 min
Yields 4 servings
atlantic salmon asparagus en papillote with lemon caper sauce


  • Papillote
  • 8 thick asparagus spears
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 skinless salmon fillet each about 6 oz (175 g) and 1 1/4 inch (3 cm) thick
  • 1 cup (250 mL) 10 % half-and-half cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon Caper Sauce
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) drained capers chopped
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Preheat oven to 450 ° (230 °C).


Cut parchment paper or foil to make four 16 x 12-inch (40 x 30 cm) rectangles; set aside.

Trim tough ends from asparagus and cut each spear in half crosswise. Grate zest from lemon and set aside. Cut lemon in half lengthwise; cut one half crosswise into thin slices and remaining half into wedges. Set both aside.

Place each piece of salmon in the centre of a piece of parchment with long sides of salmon parallel with short sides of paper. Drizzle about 1 tsp (5 mL) of the cream over each piece of salmon. Top each with one-quarter of the lemon slices and 4 of the asparagus pieces; season with salt and pepper. Fold two short sides of parchment up to meet in the centre. Fold over several times to seal; fold each end into a triangle and tuck underneath. Place packages on a rimmed baking sheet. (They can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours).

Bake for about 15 min or until packages are puffed and sizzling. Open one carefully to check for doneness. The salmon should have white juices formed on the sides and the asparagus should be tender-crisp. Refold and continue cooking if necessary.

Lemon Caper Sauce

While salmon is baking, in a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; sauté garlic for 1 min or until starting to turn golden. Sprinkle with flour; sauté for 1 min. Gradually whisk in remaining cream and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring constantly, for about 3 min or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in reserved lemon zest and capers. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place each package on a serving plate and open top (or slide salmon and vegetables off paper onto plate); spoon sauce over top and serve with a lemon wedge.


You can use any type of fish in this recipe but thick fillets work best to allow the fish and asparagus to cook in the same time. If you have thinner fillets, use thinner asparagus and check for doneness at 8 min.

If the sauce is finished before the salmon is cooked and gets too thick, whisk in a little more cream, milk or lemon juice to thin just before serving.

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 492 Calories
Protein: 39 g
Carbohydrate: 9 g
Fat: 33 g
Fibre: 2.4 g
Sodium: 233 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 10 % / 110 mg
Niacin: 69 %
Vitamin B12: 293 %
Vitamin B6: 68 %
Vitamin C: 52 %