As the end of the asparagus season is in sight and growers start to say things like “Only a couple more weeks”, I get a slight feeling of panic and start thinking “I haven’t made the most of the season”, which, of course, is rubbish and as regularly readers know asparagus has had a good showing here over the last few months – but, oh, it does seem such a long time until next September!
Anyway, there was still plenty available at the markets last
weekend, so I am continuing to make the most of it while it is still around!
This light spring dish with its Asian flavours is perfect for a girl’s lunch or serve in smaller portions as the first course for a spring meal.
Sesame Salmon & Asparagus Salad
The best way to prepare asparagus is to hold the base of the stalk in both hands and snap it – it will naturally snap at the tender spot.
If your salmon still has the skin on, cook it until crisp and cut into pieces and use to garnish for the salad.
500g asparagus, trimmed
500g salmon fillets
½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
2 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 soft-leaved lettuce, separated into leaves
GINGER SOY VINAIGRETTE
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) or soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 To make vinaigrette, place ginger, garlic, vegetable oil,
vinegar, tamari and sesame oil in a bowl and whisk to combine.
2 Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add
asparagus, bring back to simmering and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Drain, refresh under cold running water, drain again and set aside.
3 Season salmon with five spice powder and salt. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat, add a very little vegetable oil and swirl to coat base of pan, add salmon skin side down and cook, for 4-5 minutes, turn over and cook for 4-5 minutes longer or until flesh flakes when tested with a fork. Remove salmon from pan and set aside until cool enough to handle.
4 Meanwhile, add asparagus, cucumber and coriander to
vinaigrette and toss to combine. Line a serving platter or individual plates with lettuce leaves, top with asparagus mixture, then flake salmon and pile on top. Drizzle with any remaining dressing and
garnish with additional coriander, if desired.
Happy cooking and eating.
Recipe by Rachel Blackmore
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