It was a bad day. One of those days when you consider everything, especially work, to be a total waste of time. And to make matters worse, I’m currently on a two week long non-dairy diet, per my doctor. So the idea of comfort food for my bad day was out the question, as everything I find comforting involves copious amounts of cheese. So what was I to do, but sulk away. Once dinner came around, I searched the fridge for my next victim and saw I had a beautiful piece of wild sockeye salmon waiting desperately to be cooked. By this time a glass of chianti had been drunk, so with considerably higher spirits I decided to make a version of a dish from Nadia G’s Bitchin Kitchen cookbook. This recipe is exceptionally healthy, which was not my intention at all. If it was up to me, I would have stuck my face in a vat of mac & cheese. So while I was dreaming of all things containing lactose, I made this dish in a hurry. What I thought was going to be a nice, albeit mediocre, dinner turned out to be amazingly savory and satisfying! The beautiful and mild leeks are sauteed with garlic and parsley, then some hopefully homemade chicken stock and deliciously sweet/tart Meyer lemon juice is added and reduced until slightly thickened, and finally a handful of fresh dill is tossed in to round out all the flavors. Roast some asparagus, saute some salmon (and don’t overcook it like I did), top with some leek sauce and you have a lovely Spring dinner to take away those bad day blues!
Salmon with Meyer Lemon Leek Sauce (adapted from the Nadia G’s Bitchin Kitchen cookbook)
- 3/4 lb. wild sockeye salmon
- 1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed of woody ends
- 1 leek, white and light green parts only, rinsed of all dirt, sliced in half and chopped
- I clove of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh italian parsley, minced
- 1/2 Meyer lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 425º
In a small saute pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add minced garlic. Saute for about a minute, until fragrant, and add all the leeks and season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute until starting to soften, about 5-6 minutes. Don’t let it brown. Add chicken stock, lemon juice and parsley. Increase heat very slightly and simmer until the sauce is reduced to about 3 tablespoons and is thickened slightly. Check for seasoning. Add the dill last and reduce heat to low to keep it warm.
In a baking dish, add the asparagus in a single layer. Drizzle olive oil over them and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast in oven until cooked but still slightly firm, about 7 minutes.
Heat about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat until hot. Season salmon generously with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and cook halfway through, about 5-8 minutes. Flip and cook another 1-3 minutes according to what temperature you prefer your salmon.
Arrange asparagus on plate. Rest the salmon on the asparagus, and top with the leek sauce.