Fish in a packet is always an easy, tasty dinner, but this version is even better than usual with the addition of a red pepper-smoked paprika sauce. I love the combination of the anise flavor of the fennel with sweet corn as the base for this dish, and tender salmon goes well with both vegetables. While the fish is in the oven, blitz up a quick red pepper oil -- everything just goes in a mini chopper until smooth (or you can use a hand blender). The sauce would also be awesome on other fish or on chicken. This makes a delicious light dinner on its own, but if you're hungrier you can add some crusty bread and butter or a green salad on the side.
1 cup thinly sliced fennel (about 1/2 large fennel bulb)
1 cup corn kernels (from about 2 ears)
1 T minced fennel fronds
Salt and pepper
Two 6-ounce salmon fillets
For the smoky red pepper oil:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T minced roasted red peppers
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 small garlic clove, minced
A pinch of ground cumin
A pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and lay out two large pieces of foil on a baking sheet.
2. Toss together the fennel, corn, and fennel fronds with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Divide among the two pieces of foil.
3. Arrange the salmon on top of the vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Fold up the foil and pinch closed. Place in the oven for 14 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, place all the ingredients for the smoky red pepper oil in a mini chopper or a small bowl. Blend with a stick blender or mini chopper until smooth. Set aside.
5. Let sit for 5 minutes, then open the packets. Transfer to a plate and drizzle with the smoky red pepper oil.