Paprika Salmon with Fennel & Asparagus Salad

One year, six months, and 29 days ago, I decided to make peace with the rain and call Portland home. 

Having grown up in Vermont, and then attending college in Portland, I knew all too much about gray weather. As an adventurous young jet-setter, I had no interest in staying in my college town, so immediately after graduating, I left the cold behind and headed south. Nothing but sun would do. I packed my bags and set off for Central and South America. When I returned to the U.S., I briefly settled in sunny California, but was soon off to the Costa Del Sol of southern Spain.  

As maturity set in, the romance of travel quickly began to fade. I was weary of packing boxes and ready to plant my roots. Beautiful Oregon, with it's snow-capped mountains, rocky coastlines, lush forests, friendly people, and amazing food, kept calling my name. But so much rain! Still trying to avoid damp days, I spent four years hopping around east coast cities, finding snowy winters and hot, humid summers. I never stopped dreaming of Oregon. Eventually, I realized nothing would do but to make peace with the rain. I packed my car, headed west, and have not looked back since. 

As a part of my peace treaty, I committed to not letting the rain stop me from doing the things that I love - I bundle up to run, hike, and bike, rain or shine (most of the time :) Once, I'm out there, it's (almost) always rejuvenating and refreshing. I couldn't be happier to now call Portland, rain or shine, the place where I intend to stay. But, I can't deny I still crave the sun! On weekends like this past one, with 60 degree sun warming my cheeks, A little part of me jumps for joy. Don't get me wrong, rain, I am no longer at war with you. The sun just puts that extra skip in my step. 

In honor of spring, I wanted to share this super easy recipe, packed with some of the best veggies spring has to offer: asparagus, fennel, arugula, and sugar-snap peas! 

Serves: 2

Salmon Ingredients:
8 oz salmon filet (or two 4-oz filets)
2 TSP paprika
2 TSP salt
1 TSP ground black pepper
1 TBSP fresh parsley, finely chopped
Lemon wedges for serving

Salad Ingredients:
1 handful of skinny asparagus, very lightly steamed, and cut into 1-2" pieces
1/2 fennel bulb, shaved
1 cup sugar-snap peas, chopped
2 cups arugula

Salad Dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 TSP salt

Preparation

  1. Mix paprika, salt & pepper and rub on both sides of salmon filets. Let sit for 20-30 minutes while preparing the salad and while grill heats. 
  2. Combine dressing ingredients in a jar, and shake well. 
  3. Prepare salad ingredients and toss together in a large bowl. Do not dress until just before serving. 
  4. Cook salmon on medium-high grill for about 5 minutes, depending on how thick the cut of fish, on each side for medium-rare. 
  5. Once salmon is cooked to desired temperature, remove from the grill and let cool. 
  6. Serve salmon on top of salad with parsley and lemon wedges as a garnish. 
  7. Enjoy! 

Hope you get out and enjoy all the tender greens of spring - rain or shine!