weeknight baked salmon and asparagus
I have taken the bar exam and can now return to the land of the living – although I may descend from that world again when I get the results, but that jury is out for a few months, so here I am.
Last night, I made a simple dinner for the beloved carnivore. It was too hot to make an elaborate meal, but I wanted to cook for him because he’s been taking such good care of me the past two months.
I went to Whole Foods and picked up a little less than a pound of Atlantic salmon. Salmon is one of those things where it’s worth buying the slightly more expensive stuff. Actually, I feel that way about all seafood, but I digress.
While I was walking to the seafood counter, I saw some yummy-looking asparagus, so I threw that in my basket, too.
Both of these recipes serve two, but could be doubled or tripled very easily.
This is a really simple, but delicious way to make asparagus. Save asparagus with fancy sauces, it’s one of my favorite ways to have asparagus.
Adapted from The Food Network; Serves two.
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
While the oven’s preheating, wash the asparagus. Hold each piece of asparagus in two hands, with the tip in your left hand and the other end in your right. Jerk your right hand downward to break the end of the asparagus. The asparagus will magically break in the right spot, leaving you with the asparagus that will get tender and delicious instead of chewy and gross.
Toss the asparagus into a large ziploc bag. Pour in the tablespoon of olive oil, seal, and shake until the olive oil coats the asparagus. Unseal, shake some salt and pepper into the asparagus. The amount really depends on your taste, and whether you’re a pepper person (me) or a salt person (the beloved carnivore). Seal the bag back up and shake, shake, shake.
Pour the asparagus into a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Make sure the asparagus is in a single layer and none of the asparagus overlaps too much. If you use a metal baking dish, you may want to grease the dish a little bit first.
This is what the asparagus looks like before baking. I forgot to take one of just the asparagus after baking . . . forgive me, I haven’t blogged in a while.
Put in the pre-heated oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. It should be tender when pierced with a fork, but still have some bite to it. Because overcooked asparagus is gross, if you ask me.
If you’re making the salmon, too, prepare the salmon while the asparagus is cooking. When the asparagus comes out of the oven, cover the dish with foil but not too tightly – that way, the asparagus will stay warm but won’t keep cooking.
Baked Salmon with Old Bay
Adapted from Old Bay; Serves two
- 1 lb salmon fillets
- 1 TBSP vegetable oil
- 1 tsp Old Bay
- 1/2 tsp dill weed (more if you’re using fresh dill)
- pinch of salt
- dash of mustard, optional (just one shake of the mustard jar, no more!)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you’re also making the asparagus, just do the prep while the asparagus is baking and then bump the oven temperature up to 450 when you pull out the asparagus.
Cut the salmon into the size of fillets you want. I used a knife to cut through the flesh of the salmon and kitchen shears to cut the skin on the bottom. As my mother always says, there are few things in life more useful than a good pair of kitchen shears.
Grease a 7 x 11 or larger glass baking dish. Place the salmon pieces skin side down in the baking dishes.
Into a measuring cup, small bowl, or short glass, pour the tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add in the Old Bay, dill, salt, and mustard. Stir well.
Using a pastry brush, brush the oil and seasonings mixture over the tops of the salmon fillets. Try to get all of the oil onto the fillets, even if you go over some spots two or three times.
Put the salmon in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the salmon flakes when pierced with a fork. It should still be quite pink, however, or it’ll taste overcooked – I also hate overcooked salmon. Are we sensing a theme?
Serve the salmon immediately. If you’ve made the asparagus, too, take the foil off of the asparagus dish and use tongs to add the asparagus to the dinner plates.