One Dish Meals

Sheet Pan Salmon and Asparagus

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As you may have detected by now, I love seafood. I am particularly fond of salmon. And shrimp. And pickerel. And tilapia. And many other kinds of fish, with a few exceptions. So if you notice that the percentage of protein recipes being posted by me is skewed heavily towards seafood, that is why. And, like I told a young non-fish-loving friend who was trying to muster up the courage to try a fish recipe that my daughter posted on Cooking Through Generations, you may as well start eating it while you’re young because by the time you’re fifty, your doctor will be force-feeding seafood to you anyway. And we all know it’s a lot more fun doing things when you made the choice to do it, than to be TOLD TO DO IT. She thought that was a pretty strong motivational incentive to try it. I should get back to her and see if she took the plunge. Accountability partners come in many forms.

We were hosting my husband’s sister for a patio dinner last weekend and I had been planning to make a spicy jerk meal in memory of Jamaica, when what should appear at my door but two freshly caught salmon, all filleted and ready to go. My brother had gone fishing that day with his sons and they had a very successful catch of salmon and kindly gave us some. Well. What’s a girl to do? Change the dinner menu and feature salmon instead, that’s what. I’ll just use a spicy rub on the salmon. Jerk chicken can wait. Perseverance is enhanced by waiting, just like they had to do in Cool Runnings. “Ya, mon. You dead yet, Sanka?”

 

I took the easy route and baked the salmon together with local asparagus on a sheet pan because I was also making a mushroom risotto and that is more labour intensive. The two projects worked together really well and the texture combinations were perfect. The evening was balmy and beautiful, finishing with a gorgeous sunset and the conversation was scintillating and rousing, with all the current hot topics being covered, as well as some that weren’t as hot. It was a win all around.

 

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Local asparagus is still in season, but is winding down so I wanted to quickly make use of it. Once it gets too hot, the stalks grow too fast and become woody. I like the larger stems for roasting and grilling. Click here for a great asparagus brunch idea.

This post is sponsored by Martin’s Family Fruit Farm. The retail store is reopening in the fall with many changes. 

Sheet Pan Salmon and Asparagus

Ingredients

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  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs of asparagus, washed and about 1 inch of stem removed
  • drizzle of good quality olive oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 lemon, cut in half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 lbs salmon or 4 fillets*
  • seasoning of your choice ( I used a spicy smokehouse rub and some Cajun seasoning)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400° F (204° C). Cover a large baking sheet with parchment or foil; grease it lightly. Lay the salmon in the centre of the sheet. Arrange the asparagus spears at the sides of the salmon with the thick ends toward the edges of the sheet. Drizzle everything with olive oil and squeeze the lemon over both the fish and the asparagus. Sprinkle the asparagus with the garlic. Coat the fish liberally with your seasoning of choice, then grind salt and pepper over all. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily.

You may need to remove the asparagus before the fish is done, depending on the thickness of your stalks. If you have really thin asparagus, give the fish a head start by roasting it for ten minutes before adding the asparagus. Serve over pasta, rice or risotto. 

*NOTE: If you absolutely hate fish, this dish could be made with chicken breasts cut in half the long way so that they are thin enough to cook with the asparagus. Green beans are also an option instead of the asparagus.