Herbed Baked Salmon with Pickled Asparagus

I recently saw a herb baked salmon entrée on a restaurant menu and was curious about ordering it but opted for another item instead. Even though I loved what I ordered, I still found myself thinking about the salmon. So I decided to curb my curiosity and make it at home.

I usually prefer grilled salmon as my go-to method of preparation, however, after having made this dish I now have a close second favorite. The salmon was tender and flaky, and the mayonnaise and fresh herbs ended up tasting like a creamy, fresh, brighter version of a tartar sauce. Paired with the crisp acidity of the pickled asparagus was like eating a fresh crunchy salad and vegetable all in one.

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Warm Asparagus and Mushroom Salad with Champagne Shallot Vinaigrette

Wam Asparagus and Mushroom Salad with Champagne Shallot Vinaigrette

You know how a sandwich or a salad tastes better when someone else makes it? The reason is a combination of your visual perception along with a psychological response to the exposure of the ingredients. If you’re the one making the salad, your mind is thinking about how the finished dish will taste, so in the end, the resulting pleasure isn’t as strong as if someone else prepares and presents you with the finished dish.

Either way, this salad still tastes as delicious as my mind tells me it will, whether I make it or not. The warm roasted mushrooms and asparagus add a deep, earthy layer to the salad, and the dressing has just the right level of acidity to give your taste buds a bright pop of flavor.

And just a suggestion, go the extra step and buy a nice aged Parmesan and grate it yourself for this dish. The inherent nuttiness and buttery flavor of an aged Parmesan works well here.

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