Monday, March 15, 2010

Salmon with Fennel Orange Slaw and Sautéed Asparagus

My husband was born and raised in Alaska where a fresh catch is readily available. Because he came from a state so privileged in salmon, he is a bit of a what I refer to as a "fish snob." During our early months of marriage we would go up to the fish counter at the grocery store and he would restrain me from buying anything but wild caught sockeye salmon from Alaska. Since we were living in a small town not anywhere near a coast, I would often sulk when he would tell the guy at the counter offering the lesser farm raised pink salmon, "not interested."

He did have a point though. His fish snobbery has rubbed off on me and I can now appreciate what is fresh and what is not. The good news is that we now live in an area bursting with fresh seafood and at least imports the good stuff from Alaska. 

Salmon with Fennel Orange Slaw and Quick Sauteed Asparagus
(Printable Recipe)
Serves 4
When I cook salmon I try and not mask it too much with complicated marinades or rubs. This recipe helps bring a punch of flavor to the fish without being too overpowering. The slaw uses fennel as the main ingredient. Fennel has an anise aroma and a crunchy texture, almost like cabbage when served raw. I planned on adding a little mint to the slaw, but my late night run to the grocery store proved slim pickings in the mint department. Mint or not, it tasted great in the end. I loved the crunchiness of the slaw combined with the velvety texture of the salmon.

4 salmon filets
salt and pepper
1 small bunch asparagus, trimmed

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
1 orange, segmented and chopped
1/2 small shallot, thinly sliced into rings
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint (optional)
salt and pepper

Preheat broiler to highest setting. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease with olive oil. Place salmon on baking sheet, skin side down. Liberally salt and pepper the fish. Place in oven for about 3-4 minutes or until salmon is about 75 percent cooked through. Turn over and crisp up the skin for another 2-3 minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the asparagus and saute 3-5 minutes or until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Combine all remaining ingredients for the slaw in a small bowl. Place 1/4 of the asparagus on a plate. Top with salmon and a spoonful of slaw. 

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