Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dinner in thirty minutes: speedy salmon with crisp asparagus

This is a fast, delicious and low carb way to make a moist and tender salmon dinner for one, two or a crowd in less than half an hour. It’s very easy to multiply or divide these few ingredients. This serves 6, but you can adjust for any number. It all works. 

We've been very busy since the release of The Christie Curse, so we are both always looking for  recipes that pay off quickly and easily. Here's one of our favorites. 

This is an especially appealing meal in the spring if, for instance, you are still wearing some of that extra Easter chocolate and would like to trim down.  With fresh asparagus coming out, you can have a lovely dinner without any guilt. If someone you love really needs starch to survive, it’s nice to serve this with Arborio rice. Put the rice on to cook when you start to prepare the fish.

Simply salmon

2 tbsp olive oil
1 2 pound fillet of salmon, skin removed – this is important so the fish absorbs the flavors better, but if you find yourself with skin attached and no desire to remove it, the salmon will still be good.

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh dill or thyme (or your favorite herb)
Sea salt and fresh pepper to suit your taste

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
Place a large sheet of foil on a baking sheet.  Brush with oil. Place the fish on top amd sprinkle with lemon, herbs, salt and pepper. Fold up sides of foil to completely enclose fish. 

Roast fish for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness.
Remove the fish from the foil and transfer to a serving platter.  Doesn’t get much easier!

This classic asparagus recipe was given to MJ by our local food editor when she was writing Too Hot to Handle,  the second Fiona Silk mystery. Fiona was supposed to be writing an erotic cookbook, although she had no working oven, had no love life at the moment and of course was tripping over bodies. Naturally, she asked her friends for recipes. MJ did too. The recipes all worked and this is one of our favorites because it is so easy and terrific with any type of asparagus. The thicker asparagus will be chewy; the thinner asparagus will come out crispy (the Maffini/Abbott preference)

Crispy Asparagus
1 pound (or any amount!) fresh asparagus, woody ends snapped off
Olive oil
Sea salt

Place the asparagus on a baking sheet (we put it next to the salmon). 


Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. If you are cooking it alone, bake for 10 minutes at 500 . If you are cooking it with the fish, try 18 – 20 minutes at 450.  I cooked it along with the salmon at the lower temperature. If it gets too crispy, remove and let the salmon finish cooking.

That's all it takes! Set your trusty  timer for 18 - 20 minutes. All you need to do is slip into your little black dress if you're serving guests or something more comfortable if it's family.  


We're showing the skinny asparagus on this plated dinner. We did both within a week.  Not as pretty as the fat stalks, but lovely and crispy, the way we like it.

We are still celebrating the arrival of The Christie Curse the first book collector mystery! It's had a terrific reaction and we're proud (may even celebrate with salmon). We're looking forward to seeing the cover for the second in the series: The Sayers Swindle is due out in December 2013.

In the meantime, The Christie Curse is available in print and e-book everywhere. Recipes included.

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  1. We're on the same wavelength, Victoria, with fast suppers! Mine comes up on Thursday. this looks wonderful though...I've also roasted green beans and they come out delicious.

    And try a few squirts of sesame oil on the asparagus for another flavor sensation!

  2. Thanks, Lucy/Roberta. I always enjoy your posts and look forward to your fast supper. I've never roasted green beans, but will fix that quickly.

    I am very jealous of the kayaks in your last post. Ours are covered in snow in the back yard.

  3. This is my favorite way to prepare asparagus, except I also sprinkle it with garlic powder. Just as delicious cold the next day!

    I have some lovely fish in the fridge that I'll try this way. Love the easy cleanup!

    Roberta, I've never tried roasting green beans. I'm looking forward to that.

    As for the Easter chocolate, can you explain why bunny ears end up on my thighs?

  4. Re bunny ears, Krista, I hear you. My ears could stand a bit more weight, but the rest of me? Not so much.

    I am going to try the garlic powder too. There's a goldmine in these comments.


  5. The Christie Curse is terrific!
    And this is a lovely, elegant meal that has the bonus of being easy to make and easy to clean up after.

    1. Thanks, Libby! Glad you like The Christie Curse. It likes you too.


  6. I'd say this is a Savvy Single Supper recipe, VA! I will be delighted to have some at Tuesday's Ottawa launch . . . but there had better be chocolate, too!!
    Susan from

    1. Nothing fishy about our launch, Susan, but the chocolate has been acquired. I enjoy your SSS recipes!


  7. Love that ladybug timer. This is such a great recipe for spring and summer fare, not to mention getting more fish onto my plate (that doesn't sound too fishy, does it)? Thanks, Victoria!

    1. Thanks, Cleo. I love the timer too. I have a green one in my office to keep me writing.

      We're always trying for more fish too.


      MJ for VA

  8. Lovely and simple. I adore salmon. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Daryl / Avery

    1. Thanks, Daryl/Avery! I adore salmon too (also cheese!)