The first recipe I want to share is not a new one to me, but one of my tried and true favorites. We absolutely love this salmon and asparagus dish and try to eat it once a week because of how healthy salmon is and because it’s one of Chris’s favorites. I also love it because it only dirties one pan (which doesn’t really get dirty since I line it with aluminum foil).
Health Benefits of Salmon:
- Salmon is very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA and EPA. Omega-3’s are extremely important, especially in brain and heart health. Wild caught salmon typically has higher levels of Omega-3’s, but farmed salmon still has substantial levels. The other form of Omega-3’s, ALA, can be turned into EPA and DHA Omega-3’s by the body but the process is very inefficient so getting them from our diet is very important. Most other foods that are high in Omega-3’s (like walnuts and flaxseeds) are high in ALA so salmon and other fatty fish should also be added to the diet.
- Salmon is high in protein. While it is not as lean as chicken breasts, the fat in salmon comes in the form of very important Omega-3’s, making it attractive for those trying to build muscle or lose weight.
- Salmon is high in Vitamin D. Women in particular tend to have low levels of vitamin D but in the winter, we’re all probably lacking due to the decrease in sunlight. Vitamin D is important in bone health and deficiency has been linked to depression.
While there have been some reports of contaminants in farm raised salmon, the health benefits of eating salmon far outweigh the risks.
Now on to the recipe :)
I love this recipe for a weeknight because it’s extremely simple. When I first moved out on my own and started cooking, I was afraid of cooking salmon because it’s not something I ate much growing up and I thought it would be much more complicated than it is. After playing around with cooking times and seasonings, I’ve finally landed on this recipe and we can’t go a couple weeks without having it at least once.
Baked Salmon with Parmesan Asparagus
- 1 lb salmon (preferably wild caught)
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dill
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400º F
- Line pan with aluminum foil
- Don’t worry about taking the skin off your salmon if you bought it with the skin on – it will stick to the aluminum when you serve the fish
- Place the salmon on the pan and drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and the lemon juice.
- Sprinkle the dill over the salmon and place in the oven for 20 minutes (you don’t have to let the oven finish preheating – just put it in when you’re ready)
- As the salmon is about to finish baking, rinse the asparagus and cut off the ends, about 1″ from the end
- Take the salmon out of the oven (it won’t be done cooking yet) and place the asparagus on the pan so it’s not overlapping.
- Drizzle asparagus with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle middles of stalks with parmesan cheese and return to the oven for 10 more minutes.
- Switch the oven to broil for an additional 2 minutes, then take out and ensure salmon is fully cooked (turns opaque and flakes easily).
- Serve immediately.
Cooking times can differ depending on the thickness of the salmon. We usually buy a filet from the middle of the fish so it’s pretty thick but if yours is less than an inch thick, you may want to decrease the cooking time. Check that it’s mostly cooked before you add the asparagus to the pan. I’ve found this dish is kind of hard to mess up. The asparagus is fine to be cooked for another couple minutes if your salmon isn’t done when the time is up. You also can just take the asparagus off and set aside while the salmon finishes cooking. If you haven’t cooked salmon before, just play around with it. I’ve found it’s pretty flexible.
This recipe can also easily be adjusted for more or fewer people.