Salmon...California Style

California leads the country in production of strawberries, kiwi, avocado, lemons and lettuce! In addition, it ranks second in production of carrots followed by asparagus. Even salmon fishing is very important to the economy. With all of this fresh seasonal produce you are probably wondering why black tea was included in the ingredients when it is not a major California crop. There are efforts to begin tea farming in California which are still in the early stages. With this in mind, the tea is optional, but I think it adds a nice earthy flavor to the salmon and it contains all kinds of wonderful antioxidants. Do not forget to take the salmon out of the fridge 20 minutes before you are ready to cook it so that it can come to room temp. This helps to keep the salmon from drying out when it is baking.

Makes: 2 servings

Preparation time: 20m
Cooking time: 20m
Total time: 32m


Ingredients:

  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 10 asparagus spears (woody stems removed, sliced into 2" long pieces)
  • 1 large carrot (peeled, cut in half lengthwise then chopped into 1” pieces)
  • 10 snap peas
  • 4 strawberries (cleaned and quartered)
  • 1 small avocado (sliced into 2" chunks)
  • 1 kiwi (peeled and chopped into 1” pieces)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 pound salmon (cut into 2 fillets)
  • 1 teaspoon black tea (such as English Breakfast)
  • 2 cups hearty greens (arugula/chard/collard greens/kale/spinach/etc)

Equipment: Empty spice grinder or mortar and pestle (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF/205ºC and line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the salmon fillets skin-side-down onto the foil.
  2. Put the black tea into a spice grinder or grind it with a mortar and pestle and sprinkle it onto the two salmon fillets. Season with a little salt and pepper. Then bake the salmon for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through and flaky.
  3. While the salmon is cooking, place the prepared asparagus, carrots and snap peas into a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Put onto the stovetop over medium high heat for 10 minutes, no more. You are just barely cooking them so they soften a little and the asparagus and peas turn bright green. You do not want them mushy.
  4. Meanwhile, put the sliced strawberries, avocado and kiwi into a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon into 2 pieces and squeeze half of the lemon juice onto this fruit mixture. Cut the other half into 2 pieces and save it to serve with the salmon.
  5. As soon as the vegetables are done remove them from the heat and combine with the hearty greens. Divide this salad evenly between two plates.
  6. Place the cooked salmon on top of the salad.
  7. Spoon the fruit mixture onto the salmon and serve with the lemon wedge.