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Salmon with Spring Vegetables

Here, spring vegetables—asparagus, peas and leeks—are sautéed in butter and olive oil just until tender, adding color and garden-fresh flavor to moist, braised salmon. If leeks are unavailable, substitute 12 green onions, including the light green tops, halved lengthwise and then cut crosswise. Steamed red potatoes or creamy mashed potatoes are the perfect accompaniment.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 fresh tarragon sprigs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 salmon fillets, each about 6 oz.
  • 1 bunch asparagus, about 1 lb.
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and light green portions, cut into 2-inch
      matchsticks
  • 2 cups fresh or thawed, frozen English peas
  • Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Snipped fresh chives for garnish

Directions:

In a slow cooker, stir together the water, wine, stock, onion, tarragon sprigs, the 1/2 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper. Cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer’s instructions for 30 minutes. Add the salmon fillets (they can overlap), cover and cook until the fish is opaque throughout, firm and very tender, about 1 hour.

About 15 minutes before the fish is ready, remove the tough ends from the asparagus spears. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the lower 2 inches of each spear, then cut the spears into 2-inch lengths. Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add all the asparagus pieces except the tips and cook for 4 minutes. Add the tips and cook until all the pieces are just tender, about 2 minutes more. Drain and run under cold running water until cool. Spread the asparagus on a kitchen towel to dry.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 1 minute, then add the asparagus and sauté until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat.

Transfer the salmon to warmed plates. Discard the braising liquid. Arrange the vegetables alongside the salmon and scatter the lemon zest and chives over the top. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma The New Slow Cooker, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, 2010).