The beginning of every season is really the most exciting part, don’t you think? I love my winter squash and my brussels sprouts, but they’ve got nothing on the tender first blush of spring vegetables: delicate peas, slender stalks of asparagus, ruby red strawberries, and all sorts of gorgeous, pastel greens lighting up produce aisles and farmers’ markets.
This dish anticipates the coming of the next season, when warming days and lengthening evenings lead us towards simpler meals with less cooking and less fuss. My goal wasn’t even to make it quick or easy, but it is absolutely both. You broil the vegetables first, then the salmon. Somewhere in the middle of those 10 minutes, you whisk together a piquant green onion dressing. Perhaps throw some grains onto your plate, and you’ve got a well-balanced dinner or the kind of lunch that’ll make your colleagues envious.
Broiled Salmon and Spring Vegetables with Green Onion Dressing
Yield: 4 servings
1 pound wild salmon, divided into four portions
1 bunch slender asparagus stalks, rinsed and trimmed
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 small bunch radishes, rinsed and sliced in quarters
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white Balsamic vinegar (or substitute another mild, sweet white vinegar)
1 tablespoon grain mustard
1 bunch green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Turn on the broiler.
In a roasting pan, arrange the asparagus, fennel and radishes. Drizzle them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
Broil the vegetables for about five minutes, checking once to make sure they haven’t burned. Remove from heat immediately and transfer to a platter. (I like to keep the platter sitting on top of the oven, covered, to keep the vegetables warm.)
While the vegetables roast, prepare the dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and grain mustard until emulsified. Add the green onions and sea salt and whisk until thoroughly blended. Set aside.
Place the salmon in the same roasting pan. Sprinkle a little sea salt and pepper over the fillets. Broil the salmon for about 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cut. Thinner cuts will cook through much faster. A thicker cut may still be a little pink in the middle after five minutes. Set aside to rest for a few minutes.
Divide the vegetables among four plates. Top each with one salmon fillet, and drizzle the dressing over each fillet. Serve warm.
Kimberley Hasselbrink is a food photographer and blogger based in San Francisco. She is the author of the blog The Year in Food, which is framed around a monthly seasonal food guide. Kimberley enjoys unusual produce, strong coffee, road trips and summer nights.