Warm Salmon and Roasted Asparagus Salad

What happens when you put the last three posts together?  You get a delicious and elegant "Warm Salmon and Roasted Asparagus Salad."  A few weeks ago my husband and I decided to go on The South Beach Diet in order to get back on a healthy eating track. When our lives get busy we have a tendency to not think about what we eat.  We had derailed - throwing all dietary guidelines out the window, eating whatever we wanted whenever we wanted it.   When I'm being more thoughtful about our diet I spend some time menu planning for the week and we end up eating healthier.  Sometimes I flip through cookbooks for ideas just for this purpose. That's what I was doing when I came across this salad in The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook on page 152.  I used a different salad dressing, slightly different seasonings on the asparagus, and an alternative salmon preparation in my rendition of this recipe.

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Warm Salmon and Roasted Asparagus Salad
mixed baby greens (one large handful for each serving)
lemon vinaigrette (one tablespoon for each serving)
roasted asparagus (5 to 6 stalks for each serving)
broiled salmon with garlic-butter zip sauce (4 to 6 ounces for each serving)

1 large fillet (about 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of garlic-butter zip sauce (the same garlic-butter in the pan-seared ribeye recipe)
zest from 1/2 lemon
cracked pepper

1) Unwrap freshly bought fish and place skin side down on a cutting board. Take a damp cloth and dab the top of the salmon to clean (as opposed to rinsing the fillet under water). Pat dry with paper towel, sprinkle lightly with salt, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and place the fillet in the refrigerator.  Leave the salmon in the refrigerator until about 45 minutes before you are ready for dinner. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and set on the counter leaving the plastic wrap in place.

2) While the salmon is in the refrigerator make the garlic-butter zip sauce (unless you have some left over from the pan-seared ribeye like I did).

For the garlic-butter zip sauce

3/4 stick butter softened 
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 handful of parsley leaves, minced

--Mix all of the ingredients until smooth and blended.
--Place butter mixture on a sheet of cellophane and roll into a 1 inch roll.  Place in the refrigerator to chill.

3) Next, make the Lemon Vinaigrette.

Enough lemons to yield 1/2 cup of lemon juice (2 large juicy ones did the trick for me)
2 medium shallots, minced
1 handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cups of quality extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of low acid rice vinegar

--Mix all of the ingredients until blended and slightly thickened.

4) About 30 minutes before you are ready to eat finish prepping the salmon. Remove the plastic wrap.  Using a small amount of olive oil rub down the entire fillet taking the opportunity to gently feel for any remaining bones.  If you find any tweeze them out at this time.

5) Place the fillet on a lightly oiled pan.  Thinly "frost" the top of the salmon with 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Cut 3 medallions from the garlic-butter log. Cut each medallion into 6 small pieces and scatter all the little butter pieces on top of the mayonnaise. Finish the salmon preparation with fresh cracked pepper and lemon zest (using a microplane makes this step easy).

6) Prepare the roasted asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus
1 tablespoon of olive oil
granulated garlic
fresh cracked pepper
kosher salt

--Wash the asparagus, and cut 1 1/2 to 2 inches off the woody ends. Take a potato peeler to the bottom third of the spear peeling of the the top layer of outer "skin."

--Place spears in a roasting pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over the spears.  Using your hands lightly toss the asparagus until they are evenly coated with oil.

--Sprinkle with cracked pepper and kosher salt, and place in a preheated 350 degree toaster oven. (For a regular oven you may need to preheat the to 400 degrees).  Roast until desired doneness - about 12 minutes.  (I like mine with a little crunch). 

7) Toss 1 tablespoon of lemon vinaigrette with each handful of baby mixed greens and place the bed of greens on a dinner plate.

8) Set your oven to broil, place the salmon 6 inches below the heat element (second to the highest notch) and broil on low for approximately 8 minutes.   Move the salmon to the highest notch and broil on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Stay close and check often - if anything you want your fish slightly underdone rather than over done.  You know it's done when it's lightly browned and bubbly.

9) Finish plating by adding roasted asparagus spears on top of the greens then adding a slice of salmon on top. Serve immediately.


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