This week is going to be a pasta week. I’ve got three very nice pasta dishes to share and I’ll kick things off today with a salad of sorts. It’ll include penne pasta, Parmesan cheese, asparagus and salmon, among other things Later on, well, I guess this weekend and next week, I’ll move onto a dish that features an interesting looking caper sauce and one that features dried tomatoes and artichokes. I’m looking forward to both of them.
This recipe can be easily broken down into chunks that are simple to work with. Since this is a cold salad, timing isn’t as critical as if the dish were hot. Basically, the salmon need to be marinaded and then baked, the pasta needs to be cooked, the asparagus needs to be fried and then everything needs to be put together. The best part about this recipe is that it can be worked on throughout the day. Since the salmon needs to be marinaded for a few hours, that can be handled in the morning. And since the pasta needs to be chilled, just pick your time out of a hat for cooking that. Actually, the entire thing is like this, so it’s really a no stress situation.
As far as flavor and texture goes, I liked this salad a lot. All that Parmesan hit the spot and the asparagus shined through. My favorite part though was the salmon. The marinade truly adds tons of flavor and the way it’s cooked was just perfect. I think you’ll enjoy this one.
For the Marinade
4 6-Ounce Salmon Fillet Pieces
1/4 Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Honey
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
For the Salad
1 Pound Dry Penne Pasta
1 Bunch Asparagus, Trimmed and Sliced Thin
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
1/3 Cup Parsley, Chopped
6 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons Dried Italian Herb Mixture
1/2 Teaspoon Salt + 1 Tablespoon For Pasta Water
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepepr
I’d like to thank Le Coupe de Grace for this recipe. It was originally a chicken salad, but I took things up a notch and swapped that out for salmon. I like my version better, but I have to give credit where credit is due.
Make the Marinade
In a medium sized bowl, add the 1/4 cup olive oil, honey, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix all these ingredients together well.
When that’s ready, place the salmon fillets in a 6×10″ oven-safe dish. Pour the marinade over the salmon and then spoon it over each piece a few times to make sure everything is covered.
Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for three hours.
Cook the Pasta
Bring four quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add one tablespoon of salt to the water. When boiling, add the pasta to the water and cook for 11 minutes or until al dente. When finished, drain the pasta through a strainer and then place it in a large bowl.
Cook the Asparagus
Warm a skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is to temperature, add the asparagus to it and cook for three minutes. The asparagus should turn bright green. After that, add the lemon juice to the skillet, stir and then cook for one more minute. When finished, turn off the heat and then add the asparagus to the pasta in the bowl and place the bowl in the refrigerator to cool down.
Bake the Salmon
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. When it’s to temperature, add the dish with the salmon in it to the middle rack of the oven. Let the salmon cook for about 10 minutes. Then, open the oven and spoon the marinade over the salmon. Continue to cook and periodically spoon the marinade over the salmon for the next few minutes. You’ll notice the marinade begin to disappear. Check the salmon with a fork to make sure it’s cooked all the way through and when it is, turn off the heat and remove the dish from the oven. This entire process took me about 15 minutes to complete.
At this point, you can pretty much toss everything together to make the salad. Pull the bowl from the refrigerator and add in the Parmesan cheese, parsley, mayonnaise, dried herbs, the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the ground pepper. Mix everything together well.
With a fork, break up the salmon fillets and add the resulting pieces to the pot as well. Mix them into the other ingredients gently.
Plate & Serve
Divide the pasta salad between plates and serve. Of course, you can season the entire thing to taste with more salt and pepper and even add more Parmesan cheese and parsley to each plate. Enjoy!
The Final Pasta & Salmon Salad
This was a good one. I know that it seems like it takes a lot of time, but each step is so simple that I didn’t even notice. If you decide to give this recipe a try, please let me know what you think in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!