Why didn’t I think of this sooner?
Every single time we have a discussion at home about eating healthier fish races to the top of the list. We make our list, head off to the store (typically Costco) and fill our freezer with any assortment of fish that is preferably a sustainable catch and ethically sourced. Then it sits, not because we change our minds or don’t want to eat it, but inspiration fades and after awhile you just don’t know what to do with it any more.
I do have a lovely recipe for grilled fish that I previously shared here, but outside of that my repertoire is fairly lean. I’ve had some delicious recipes I’ve made here and there but nothing accessible enough to make all of the time. Fish is a culinary enigma to me.
I did have a good run with baked cod, it’s a delicious buttery fish but as my mom used to say, it’s a fishy fish. That meant that the house would end up smelling like fish, not yummy fish but out in the sun too long fish. Maybe we will bring it out again this summer for grilling.
So, last week I was looking for something a little different for dinner and made the unfortunate realization that my daughter had gone to the farmers market and brought home two bunches of asparagus, and my husband had gone to another market and brought home two more bunches of asparagus. I had four bunches of asparagus, and really wasn’t keen on having it every night for the whole week.
Enter my quest for a way to cook all of the asparagus and get some fish in for a nice healthy meal that shouted springtime and good weather. Lemon is a fish standard so we always have one or two in the fridge, but i needed something to tie it all together. I did a quick search and voila, the thing I have been missing my whole life. Herb butter with a bit of lemon.
I took out a sheet pan and lined it with parchment, thawed out some salmon from the freezer, and placed it along with the asparagus on the pan. My next step was to take some softened butter and put it into a small bowl, then I walked out to my garden and cut a mixture of the fresh herbs I have growing. In this case chives, oregano, basil and parsely, which I randomly cut into small slices and mixed into the butter along with a squeeze of lemon juice. It was absolutely the easiest thing in the world. I mixed it with a spoon and spread it messily on each piece of salmon and then I dotted the asparagus with whatever was left. I might have added a wee bit of olive oil for good measure, but basically topped the butter with some salt and pepper and lemon slices.
The whole thing went into the oven for about 20 minutes when the asparagus was cooked and the salmon was flaky.
The brain power and expertise to pull this off was beginner level but it was delicious. Never has so much asparagus been consumed in one siting. They complimented each other and made for a relaxing meal and pleasant conversation around the table.
I forgot to take the after photo, my apologies, but this is a good one. The Herb butter had a magical impact on what really was becoming a boring old recipe.
- salmon (fresh or thawed)
- Asparagus, whatever you have
- lemon, thinly sliced
- lemon juice
- softened butter, your preference to amount
- herbs, whatever you have, fresh or dried
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Arrange the salmon and asparagus on a baking tray (but not one you are going to make cookies with any time soon)
- Mix the butter with the herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice-to taste
- Dot the salmon and asparagus with the butter
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle some olive oil on there as well if you are so inclined
- Arrange the lemon slices over the fish and asparagus
- Cook for about 20 minutes or until fish is flaky.
You could serve this with rice, but in our case we just enjoyed the extra asparagus because it was local and fresh. A delicious treat.