Costco got me again. This time, my waistline is thrilled that it wasn’t a ten pound block of cheese or chocolate. Instead, it was a giant bag of fresh asparagus. (My kids were thrilled, as you can imagine.) Thanks to that fateful shopping trip, I currently have a lot of asparagus on hand, but I’ll use it up. I love finding new ways to cook up one of my favorite veggies. One of my favorite ways to cook up asparagus is by roasting it in the oven. I’ve told you before that I’m game for roasting up most anything, and asparagus is no exception. Roasting it in the oven is quick and easy and brings out a nutty, buttery flavor you just don’t get from steaming it.
My parents were in town over the weekend, so not only did I have a giant bag of asparagus, I also had extra mouths to feed! I just happened across this recipe yesterday morning, as I was looking for something to make for dinner last night. I knew we’d be busy during the day, so I wanted something quick and easy, but I wanted it to be special because this was our last night with my mom and dad before they took off on a culinary adventure of their own in Charleston, SC for a few days. Not only was this perfectly easy and special, it also called for asparagus! Score!
I found this recipe in one of my favorite entertaining cookbooks by Pam Anderson, called Perfect One-Dish Dinners: All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers. I’ve posted recipes from it before, because everything I’ve ever made from her book has turned out to be delicious and, more importantly, super easy. (As a side note, as I grabbed the link for the book from Amazon.com, I noticed that the book is on sale right now! Grab one!! That’s a great price! ) After having this for dinner last night, I am confident in saying this is the best salmon recipe I’ve ever made. I’ve made some good ones, but this was delicious. It easily fed the six of us and if you’re having a large dinner party, it would be easy to double and perfect for a crowd.
I started by getting my salmon ready. I bought a side of salmon (Yes, at Costco…) that weighed a little over two pounds. I spread some olive oil on both sides and sprinkled it well with salt and pepper. Once prepped, the salmon was laid out on a large baking sheet. After that, I sliced about two pounds of baby red potatoes in half.
I tossed the potatoes with some more olive oil, salt, and pepper and laid them out, cut side down so they’d crisp up well, on another cookie sheet. Then, both of the cookie sheets went in to the oven, which I hadn’t turned on yet, together.
The salmon was nestled in close to the top of the oven, while the potatoes hung out at the bottom. I closed the door and turned my oven on to 400*. The potatoes and salmon needed to cook for about 25 minutes, so I had time to clean my asparagus and to make the sauce.
To prep the asparagus, all I had to do was give it a quick wash and then snap off the woody ends. If you hold the asparagus stalk in your hands and try to bend it near the bottom, the stalk will snap right where that woody part stops. If you’re a stickler for the stalks all being the same size, then just cut them off where you want, but if you snap them this way, you’re assured of not having tough stalks at the bottom.
After the asparagus was prepped, I still had a few minutes before the salmon was done, so I mixed together a fresh, flavorful sauce to drizzle over the fish. Fresh dill, parsley, green onions, some capers and their juice, and a bit of lemon zest all went into the bowl together along with some olive oil.
After 25 minutes, the salmon was perfectly opaque and ready to come out of the oven. Using two spatulas, I carefully moved the salmon to a large platter. Then, I laid the asparagus spears on the cookie sheet that the fish had been on, tossed the stalks with a little more olive oil, salt and pepper, and put the cookie sheet back in the oven. Asparagus only takes 5-8 minutes to roast up perfectly, which was just enough time to finish baking up those potatoes as well.
Once the asparagus and potatoes were done, I pulled them out of the oven and arranged them on the platter around the salmon. The asparagus was perfectly cooked, and the potatoes were nice and crispy brown. I drizzled a little of the sauce over the salmon, put the rest of the sauce on the table for everyone to use if they wanted, and we were ready to eat.
What a beautiful dinner for spring! It was fresh, clean and delicious! I still can’t get over how simple this was. We easily fed four adults and my two girls from this one side of salmon, and I had enough leftover for two more servings. I covered the leftover salmon with the leftover sauce before storing it in the fridge. I had some of the cold salmon on a salad today for lunch and it was delicious cold! I bet you could even chunk up the leftover, chilled salmon and sauce, add a little mayonnaise and have a delicious salmon salad to make a sandwich out of or to serve with crackers.
This delicious dinner took care of half of my big bag of asparagus, and what a wonderful way to use it up!
ROAST SALMON WITH POTATOES, ASPARAGUS, AND LEMON-DILL-CAPER DRIZZLE
Adapted from Pam Anderson
- 1 whole side salmon (2 - 3 lbs.)
- 5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- kosher salt and ground pepper
- 2 lbs. baby red potatoes, sliced in half
- 2 bunches of asparagus (roughly, 2 lbs.), tough ends snapped off
- ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill leaves, plus more dill for garnish, if desired
- ¼ cup capers plus 2 Tbsp. of caper juice
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1½ tsp. fresh lemon zest, plus lemon slices for garnish
- 6 Tbsp. olive oil
- Spray two baking sheets with nonstick spray. Set the salmon on one of the baking sheets (skin side down) and coat both sides with 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the halved potatoes with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Place potatoes, cut side down, on the other prepared baking sheet.
- Adjust the racks in your oven so that one rack is on the very bottom and the other in the upper middle position. Place the potatoes on the bottom rack and the salmon on the upper rack of a cold oven. Close the door and then turn the oven on, set to 400*. Roast until the salmon is just opaque throughout, about 25 minutes, and the potatoes are golden brown and crispy, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toss the prepared asparagus with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and some salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix together the parsley, dill, capers and juice, green onions, lemon zest and 6 Tbsp. olive oil. Set the sauce aside.
- Once the salmon is done, remove it from the oven to a large platter. Place the asparagus on the now empty baking sheet and return the sheet to the oven. Roast for 5-8 minutes, until asparagus is crisp tender.
- Remove the asparagus and potatoes from the oven and arrange around the salmon on the platter. Drizzle with some of the sauce and serve, along with the extra sauce. Garnish with dill sprigs and lemon slices if desired.
- Serves 6-8