This dish offers a beautiful presentation. Asparagus spears are stuffed into the salmon. The fish stays moist as it cooks. It is a perfect dish to welcome spring. It is adapted from Chef Michel Richard's cookbook, Happy in the Kitchen. http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Kitchen-Craft-Cooking-Eating/dp/1579652999/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331818487&sr=1-1#_
Salmon and Asparagus
2# of asparagus spears (about 24)
1 Tbs tarragon, coarsely chopped
1 ½ # of salmon, center cut, of course
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fleur del sel
1/8 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
4 asparagus spears (from above)
¼ cup water
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, large grain
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp of granulated sugar
Touch of Fine sea salt – how much is a touch? Well, we’ll say 1/16th of a teaspoon…
Cut the rough bottom ends of the asparagus spears, keeping them the same length as the salmon fillet. Set the trimmed ends aside for the vinaigrette.
Peal the asparagus spears from about an inch below the tip to the end of the spear. Steam asparagus for about 5-6 minutes, or until tender.
Fill a bowl with ice water. When asparagus are cooked, submerge in ice water bath to cool. Drain and dry.
Sprinkle asparagus with Fleur del sel and tarragon.
Stuff the Salmon:Using tweezers, remove pin bones. Beginning one inch from the side of the salmon, using a long sharp slicing knife, cut a pocket in the center of the fillet through the length of the salmon, leaving an inch of the fillet uncut on either side. Push the sides of the salmon together to help open up the pocket.
Line the pocket with a layer of asparagus, all tips facing the same direction.
Trim the fish, so all spears are flush with the ends of the salmon.
Brush a baking pan with olive oil. Place fillets in the pan; drizzle the tops with olive oil; season lightly with salt and pepper.
Make the Vinaigrette:Cut the reserved asparagus spears into 1 inch pieces. Place in a saucepan; add water and olive oil. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Pour asparagus and remaining liquid into a blender and puree.
Place salmon in the 500 degree oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, until done.
Remove from oven, blot the bottom, and place on a serving plate. Serve hot or at room temperature with vinaigrette on the side.