A Gift of Paper

For every year you’ve been married there are specific material associations relating to that anniversary. There are traditional ones, modern ones, flowers and gemstones. For our first anniversary I decided it would be fun for N and I to buy each other a present linked to the traditional association, it didn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful. The first anniversary is paper. My initial thought was a newspaper printed on the day of our wedding. But seeing it was only the previous year I figured if I looked hard enough in N’s pile of still to be read newspapers I would probably find it there for free rather than paying good money for it! I racked my brains and then it finally came to me. I sourced and framed the sheet music to my entrance song at our wedding – Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel – it was perfect! N also managed to stick to the theme, he bought me a paperback book I had been going on about for ages, which just shows that he does listen to me occasionally!

For our second anniversary I put my thinking cap on again. Cotton. Apart from underpants I couldn’t come up with anything but I didn’t give in that easily and finally decided on a soft cotton scented candle that smelt of freshly washed linen. Not really cotton I know but pretty clever laterally thinking in my view and very well received. N bought me flowers. I’m guessing he was already bored of the theme game! Our third anniversary is fast approaching and this one is associated with leather. Perhaps this year we’ll club together and buy something for the house, like a leather armchair. Not very romantic I know but it’s been three years now so who am I kidding!

So what’s this got to do with food I hear you ask. Well recently I read that for Will and Kate’s first anniversary she cooked them a meal of  fish en papillote (fish in paper). That was such a great idea, I am only jealous I didn’t think of it myself. Especially because I have the perfect recipe. This salmon dish is delicious. It’s one of those dishes that you forget how amazing it is until you eat it again and then you wonder why you don’t cook it every week.

So, if your first anniversary is coming up this is definitely the dish for you. Or if you’re already way past that one just make it anyway. It’s super quick and pretty healthy, which makes it the perfect weekday dinner.

Spectacular Salmon Parcels 
(serves 2 | total prep and cooking time 30 minutes)


Ingredients
2 salmon fillets
120g couscous
1/2 stock cube dissolved in 200ml hot water
1 tomato – diced
2 spring onions – sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for drizzling
juice of 1/2 a lemon
tablespoon of chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon fresh chilli – finely chopped (or a pinch of chilli flakes)
dried tarragon
black pepper
Method
  • Place the couscous in a bowl and pour the stock over it. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes
  • In a separate bowl mix the tomato, spring onion, chilli, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and parsley
  • Once the couscous has absorbed all the stock stir in the chopped tomato mixture. Make sure it is mixed as evenly as possible
  • Cut 2 squares of baking paper (approx 25cm X 25cm)
  • Transfer the couscous mixture evenly between the 2 papers
  • Top the couscous with a fillet of salmon drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with dry tarragon and black pepper
  • Twist the ends of the paper to resemble a large boiled sweet
  • Place on a baking tray and put in the oven for 15-20 mins. Check the salmon is cooked through before you serve it
  • To keep it rustic eat it from the baking paper. Serve with steamed broccoli or other vegetables

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