The Sheet Pan: A great way to cook because it can be used to roast, bake or broil.
For Christmas, one of Andrew’s gifts to me was Molly Gilbert’s book (Workman Publishing 2014). The asterisk is because the book also puts Breakfasts, Desserts, and Snacks on a sheet pan too. There, right on the cover was a great-looking combination of Salmon, Asparagus and bright red cherry tomatoes. It was the first thing I wanted to cook. I have become quite a fan of sheet pan cooking. It has the advantage of using three techniques—roasting, baking, and broiling—using one pan. It’s also remarkably easy when clean-up comes. I line every pan with Parchment paper and when the food has been served, just toss it away. You’d be amazed at how clean the sheet pan itself remains. But the great advantage of sheet pan cooking is how it melds flavors and lets you put together great combinations with just one pan.
Here’s how to put together this glorious Roasted Salmon Dinner.
Today’s Roasted Salmon recipe started out as one Molly Gilbert made using Atlantic Char. A close relative of lake trout as well as salmon, switch out the salmon for the Char if you’d like. You can also make the dish with lake trout. The thin asparagus that’s required is everywhere I look this month. And the tomatoes are in their only currently edible form: Cherry or Grape varieties are called for here. And don’t be put off by the Gremolata. As Ms. Gilbert points out, it’s ‘just a simple Italian condiment of chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest’. The pistachios add salt, texture, and crunch. I think they add so much to the dish that I would not leave them out. Before we get to the recipe, here are a couple of other sheet pan recipes worth cooking. The recipes for this one comes right after them.
Roasted Salmon with Asparagus and Gremolata
A beautiful take on Roasted Salmon that's as picture perfect as it is quick to make
- 1 bunch asparagus (roughly 1 pound total)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 (5 to 6 oz.) Salmon Filets
- 1 medium red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
- 4 lemons, 2 sliced into sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, 2 halved.
- 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup roasted, salted, and shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
- Step 1 Heat the oven to 350 with a rack in the center position. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Step 2 Gently bend one asparagus spear between your fingers and snap off the bottom where it breaks easily. Line up the rest of the bunch and slice off the bottoms at the same distance from the tips. Place the trimmed asparagus on the prepared pan, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread the asparagus in an even layer.
- Step 3 Place the fish fillets on top of the asparagus, evenly spaced apart, and sprinkle with an extra pinch of salt and pepper. Scatter the onion, lemon slices and cherry tomatoes around and on top of the fish. At one end of the sheet pan, put the halved lemons flesh-side up
- Step 4 Bake until the asparagus is crisp-tender and the fish is almost opaque (15 to 20 minutes)
- Step 5 While the fish cooks, mix together the lemon zest, garlic, parsley and pistachios in a small bowl — this is your gremolata.
- Step 6 Sprinkle the gremolata over the char and asparagus before serving warm. Once plated, squeeze the halved lemons over the fish. Serve at once.