Dutch Oven Aromatic Wild Salmon

When your patio is covered in snow an outdoor meal likely isn’t on the top of your mind, but maybe it should be. Preparing a meal in the crisp winter air is an invigorating experience, and as private chef Katy Monti of Sweet + Salty showed us, a one-pot dutch oven dinner can be unexpectedly fresh and vibrant. Wild salmon on a bed of pancetta, orzo, and fresh spinach is hardly the dutch oven grub you grew up with, but it is the decidedly grown up fare you’d expect from a Napa Valley-trained chef. She shares her recipes with us below. 


One-pot Dutch Oven Campfire Meal:

Aromatic Wild Salmon Parchment Packets over Parmesan Pancetta Orzotto & Wilted Spinach


Serves 2

Prepare Parchment Packets


  • 2, 6 oz wild salmon filets 
  • 1 shallot each, sliced 
  • 1/2 lemon each, sliced 
  • Bunch herbs: dill, thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon (you can get creative here!) 
  • 2 oz butter, cut into 4 pieces 
  • 1 oz white wine 
  • 12 oz baby spinach, cleaned and spun dry (pre-washed is fine) 
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Fold two large (full) pieces of parchment paper in half. Using a marker, draw a half heart shape on both pieces of parchment paper and then cut the heart shape out.

Open up the heart-shaped parchment on a cutting board or other flat surface and begin to prepare the salmon.

Use a paper towel to pat the salmon filets dry, then season well with salt and pepper.On the right-hand side of each parchment heart, place a bed of sliced shallots, then place the salmon filet in the center of that. Leave room along the borders as this will be folded to create your packets. 

Then, on top of the salmon, garnish with two pats of butter, and aromatic herbs of your choice. I used dill, basil, and tarragon. Place 2-3 lemon slices on top of the herbs and then drizzle with olive oil and a splash of white wine to help steam the salmon inside the packets. 

Lastly, tightly fold the packets. 

With the salmon on the right side, close the left side of the heart over the right. Then starting at the bottom “point” of the heart, begin to make small, tight folds in the parchment. 

Fold the next piece over the previous fold, creating a tight seal and work your way all the way around the salmon. You can turn the packet as you work with it to make it easier to fold. 

At the top and final fold carefully twist any excess parchment and tuck it under to create a tight seal. Your packet is now ready! Set aside and begin to prepare the orzotto and spinach. 


Prepare Orzotto and Spinach


  • 2T butter 
  • ¼ c shallot, small dice 
  • ¼ c pancetta, diced1 
  • ½ c orzo pasta 
  • ½ c dry white wine 
  • 3 c chicken stock 
  • 1T thyme, chopped 
  • Bunch baby spinach 
  • 1 lemon, for juicing 
  • ½ c Parmesan cheese, grated 
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Place your 4-quart Barebones cast iron dutch oven classic over hot, established coals, on a grate preferably. Add the butter, shallots and pancetta, and cook over the coals until the pancetta is fragrant and crispy. Be careful not to overcook the pancetta, as it can easily burn. 

Add the dry orzo and stir to combine, coating it in the pancetta shallot mixture for one minute. Deglaze your dutch oven with the white wine (again be very careful with the alcohol near the coals, pour the wine carefully into the center of the pot). Scrape the brown bits on the bottom of the dutch oven and stir until the wine is almost completely absorbed. Then add the chicken stock, fresh thyme, salt and pepper and stir to combine, making sure nothing is sticking to the cast iron. 

On top of the orzo liquid mixture, spread out a bed of the cleaned baby spinach.Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Then, place the two salmon parchment packages on top of that. Put the lid on your dutch oven and place it over the prepared hot coals (400 degree) for 22 minutes and allow the salmon packets and orzo to cook. 

Carefully remove the dutch oven from the coals and remove the lid. Remove the parchment packets and place on a cutting board to cool slightly. Test the orzo for doneness, if it needs more time, place back over the coals. 

Sprinkle the parmesan over the spinach and fold it into the orzotto in the dutch oven. 

Finally, untwist the parchments packets to reveal the steamed aromatic salmon! Discard the lemon and herbs. 

Spoon some of the spinach and orzotto onto a plate and top with the salmon. Enjoy!

Cast Iron dutch oven open fire cooking Recipes Savory Winter

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