One-Pan Salmon Dinner — No Smell, No Cleanup

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embedone-pan-salmon-4Photographed by Erin Phraner.
We tend to try our best in the dinner department this post-resolution time of year: "I’m going to cook dinner more often...eat healthier...down more vegetables." These are all noble goals, but even the best intentioned noshers need some help staying on track.

On nights when you’re feeling too lazy to wash dishes, give this one-pan roasted salmon dinner a try. The trick: aluminum foil — and lots of it! We tightly sealed potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, capers, and salmon in a big ol’ foil pack and roasted it in the oven. Not only does the foil hold in the yummy flavors, but it also traps any fishy smells and keeps ‘em from creeping into your kitchen (or closet, for studio-apartment dwellers). You can eat your meal right from the foil pack, then crumble it up, throw it away, and voilà — cleanup, complete!

Want to make this dinner even easier? Skip any slicing: Keep the grape tomatoes whole, and swap in a cup or so of frozen, cooked brown rice for the potatoes.

One-Pan Salmon Dinner
Serves 1

1 cup very thinly sliced potatoes (such as fingerling or small new potatoes)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup packed baby spinach
1 tbsp capers
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (3 to 4 oz) boneless, skinless salmon fillet
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 lemon slices (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay one large piece of aluminum foil (about 14 inches long) horizontally over a pie plate or other shallow baking dish. Lay another large piece of foil vertically over the first foil layer to make a plus-sign shape; top with another horizontal layer for extra protection! Gently press the foil packet into the pie plate.

2. Put the potato slices, tomatoes, spinach, capers, two teaspoons olive oil, and one-fourth teaspoon each salt and pepper in the center of the foil packet; toss to combine. Top with the salmon; sprinkle with the remaining one teaspoon olive oil, the lemon juice, and one-fourth teaspoon salt. Put the garlic clove and lemon slices (if using) on top of the salmon. Fold in the foil, and tightly seal the packet.

3. Transfer the pie plate to the oven, and roast 20 to 25 minutes or until the salmon is opaque. Remove from the oven. Open the foil packet. Transfer to a plate, if desired, or dig right in.