Monday, January 17, 2011

Blackened Salmon on Asparagus with Chunky Avocado Salsa

This is my version of a restaurant meal I mentioned in one of my very first posts. It's light and refreshing for summer and it comes together very quickly, yet is impressive enough for guests. The avocado tomato topping cools the heat of the blackening spices, but if you like a milder flavor, simply season the salmon with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Asparagus preparation adapted from Cooks Illustrated, Fall 2007.

Serves 5, but easily scaleable.
5 wild salmon fillets, about 6 oz each
2 pounds thick fresh asparagus spears, tough ends removed
1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
2 fresh ripe (but still somewhat firm) avocados; peeled, pitted, and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more for drizzling at the end
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Blackening Spices
2 Tbls smoked paprika
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cayenne
1 tsp ground coriander (you can grind whole coriander in food processor)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix tomato, avocado, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Mix blackening spices together in a small bowl.
  4. Set fish on a large plate and dredge both sides in spices. 
  5. Warm 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Saute fish for 1-2 minutes per side.
  7. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and finish cooking in oven 5-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  8. While fish cooks, wipe out the skillet. Warm butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add half of asparagus with tips pointed in one direction. Add the other half with tips pointed in the opposite direction. With tongs, evenly distribute across pan. Cover and cook 5 minutes, or until asparagus is bright green. If asparagus spears are thin, they will be done in about 3 minutes.
  9. Uncover and increase heat to high. Saute until spears are tender and browned on one side, about 5 minutes or less (for thinner spears).
  10. To serve, set several asparagus spears in the center of a plate. Place salmon fillet across the spears. Spoon tomato avocado mixture on top. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with lemon juice, if desired. Repeat for remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment