I’ve been happy beyond words to see wild sockeye salmon and local spring asparagus at our neighborhood market recently. This means there’s very little discussion about dinner lately — baked salmon and asparagus. We’ve been feasting on the most incredible melt-in-your-mouth salmon, loaded with healthy omega 3’s and antioxidants. (It’s important to include salmon in your diet, otherwise consider taking appropriate supplements like EPA-DHA supplements for a regular dose of these important fatty acids.) Local is always best, but with fish it can be tricky. I prefer to buy wild salmon from Alaska than farmed fish in my own area, and when I make that choice, I’m sure to source everything else locally. When the salmon are running here in the Northeast, then of course we’ll choose that. I suggest weighing the pros and cons and making the choices that feel right for you, in all things.
This recipe works well with any fish or whatever vegetables are in season where you live, but this this baked salmon and asparagus combination is a true winner, and I highly recommend trying it at least once!
Baked Salmon and Asparagus Ingredients:
3/4 to 1 lb wild salmon
2 large handfuls of asparagus
drizzle of walnut (or olive) oil
1 tablespoon dill
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Break the tough ends off the asparagus. I like to hold them at the bottom and gently apply pressure as close to the ends as possible, so they snap naturally where the tough turns to tender. Or you can slice about an inch off with a knife.
Lay two fairly large rectangles of parchment out and divide the asparagus between the two.
Drizzle with some walnut (or olive) oil and add a crack of fresh ground pepper if you like.
Cut the salmon fillet into two pieces and drizzle with the balsamic and then add the dill.
Place a salmon piece on each asparagus stack and add another tiny splash of oil.
Roll the parchment up and fold into packages, placing on a baking sheet. You can preheat the oven now, or if you’re making these ahead of time, you can save them in the fridge til you’re ready to eat.
Preheat oven to 375°F and when it’s ready, place the baking sheet in the oven and set a timer to 20 minutes.
Do not open the packages while they’re cooking.
When the timer goes off, check the parchment, and if the edges are nice and brown, the fish is most likely done. If the edges aren’t quite browned, I leave it in for another 2-3 minutes.
I like my fish more on the rare side, but it’s up to you. If you have a thicker piece of fish, it may take the full 23 minutes rather than 20.
Remove from the oven and serve warm. I usually open them right at the table and either eat out of the parchment or transfer to plates. The smell is amazing, but be careful of the hot steam!