The presentation is one of the key parts of this recipe from Alaskan chef and blogger Mary Goddard and her husband, Lucas, because they really make your guests feel like they’re opening a gift, she says. The deer heart greens grow wild in the forests of Southeast Alaska, but if you don’t have them readily available, substitute with Italian kale or any other thick green.
“The deer heart greens seal in the moisture of the salmon, making them melt in your mouth,” Mary says.
Deer Heart-Wrapped Sockeye Fillets
Yields: 4 servings
- 8 deer heart leaves (or use large Italian kale, Swiss chard or escarole leaves)
- 4 sockeye salmon fillets (4 to 6 oz each)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 lemon slices
Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse leaves and pat dry. Arrange 4 leaves on large rimmed baking pan; place 1 salmon fillet on top of each leaf. Sprinkle each with pepper and salt and drizzle with oil; top with 1 lemon slice, then place leaf on top to cover. Gently tie cooking twine around fillets to secure leaves so that they will be easy to untie upon serving.
Bake 10 to 15 minutes, depending on size of fillet. Serve salmon in their leaves on dinner plates or platter, allowing guests to unwrap them like a gift.