Simple Salmon with Asparagus & Squash

basic-salmon
Omega 3’s, low calorie and packed full of flavor

If cooked with the right seasoning, salmon is one of the least “fishy” tasting fish that is commonly available, and this recipe will turn even the most fervent land-lubbers into fish fans. This recipe is best cooked using salmon purchased the same day, but properly thawed pre-frozen salmon will work in a pinch.

What You’ll Need
• Salmon Steaks (about 5-6oz per person)
• Asparagus (1 “bundle”, with ends snapped off*)
• Yellow Squash (1 per person, sliced into 1/8″ slices)
• Garlic Cloves (x2, diced and chopped)
• Olive Oil (use a “mild to medium” for frying/roasting)
• Dried Basil (1 tbsp per squash)
• Dried Dill to taste
• Course Sea Salt
• Regular Salt
• Fresh Ground Pepper (to taste)

Tools You’ll Need
• Deep Pot (big enough to fit whole asparagus sprouts)
• Skillet/Pan for frying squash
• Skillet/Pan for frying Asparagus
• Baking tray to fit salmon steaks

* BEFORE COOKING… SOME PRO TIPS!!!*
*PRO TIP #1*
You may think that a sharp knife is more dangerous than duller one. According to Inara Serra from Firefly, “it takes less than one pound of pressure to pierce human flesh.” The operative notion being that it doesn’t take much effort to slice through anything given a sharp enough knife. Your knife cuts will be more precise and safer if you have less resistance. So when you slice your squash, use as sharp of a knife as you have; your cuts will be more precise, and offer less resistance.

*PRO TIP #2*
If you haven’t worked with much asparagus before, or you’ve only bought pre-cut shoots, there is a trick to “snapping asparagus” shoots. You don’t want to cook the entire shoot including the absolute ends, but you also don’t want to waste expensive asparagus. What you want to do is slightly bend each asparagus shoot towards the end until it snaps. Typically, this will be 1/2″ – 1″ from the shoot’s base. The “correct” place to snap an asparagus shoot will be where the shoot naturally snaps with gentle pressure applied.

*PRO TIP #3*
Whenever you boil water, adding salt will help the water reach the boiling point quicker as well as very very slightly season the water. When you are looking to boil vegetables, add a few dashes of salt to the pot.

*PRO TIP #4″
Salmon can be tricky to perfectly cook. 1 minute too soon and your salmon will be raw in the center and 1 minute too late and your salmon will be tough. What you want to look for is a that the color has changed from pink to a more tanned pink color (apricot color) and the meat “flakes” punctured with a fork. If your salmon doesn’t look done enough, simply put it back in the oven in 2 minute increments until it properly flakes. Pink = sick. Apricot = delicious.

What to Do
1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
2. Prep the asparagus, squash and garlic.
3. Make sure the salmon steaks are not frozen, and place on a baking tray (they can be cold if thawed from pre-frozen, but they need to be thawed at least). Drizzle enough olive oil to coat the top of the salmon steaks, and sprinkle dill, pepper and course sea salt and let sit for at least 10-15 minutes.
4. While the salmon steaks absorb the olive oil and seasonings, heat up olive oil on medium in a skillet (at a rate of 1/2 tbsp oil per squash). When the oil is warmed, add in the dried basil directly to the oil (at the same rate of 1 tsp per squash), then add the sliced squash to the pan, and cook over a medium to low heat. Stir frequently and make sure each slice is evenly coated in the olive oil and basil.
5. Once the oven is pre-heated and the squash has started to cook, start to boil water in the pot for the asparagus. Make sure the water is boiling before you add the asparagus. You want to “parboil” the asparagus so that it is not completely boiled through, but not raw either. To do this, add the asparagus to the boiling water and set a timer for 7 minutes.
6. Once you’ve started parboiling the asparagus and started frying the squash, put the salmon steaks in the oven. You’ll need to set a timer for about 9-13 minutes. Time until done can vary based on the thickness of the salmon, but this is an intermediate step so keep an eye on your salmon.
7. Stir the squash and wait for the asparagus timer. Start to warm some olive oil (about 1 tbsp) in a separate pan over a low-medium heat. Add the garlic once the olive oil is heated, and saute until the garlic is uber-fragrant and slightly translucent. When the garlic is pre-heated, add the asparagus to the pan, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
8. Stir the squash again, and check on the salmon and if it is done, take the salmon out of the oven and let it rest, otherwise keep baking the salmon in 2 minute increments until done. The squash will be done when it is translucent and starts to slightly brown. Once the squash is done, remove it from heat.
9. Once the asparagus is done, remove it from the heat and check the salmon again.
10. When the salmon is done, you are ready to eat!

 

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