Stuffed Salmon Over Rice and Grilled Asparagus
4 skinless salmon fillets
salt and pepper to season
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil divided
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 oz (120 g) cream cheese at room temp
4 oz (120 g) frozen spinach thawed
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional Garlic Butter:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pound asparagus (choose thick spears)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
lemon wedges , if desired
Place each salmon fillet on a flat surface. Season both sides with salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and lemon juice.
Cut a slit or pocket about 3/4 quarter of the way through, being careful not to cut all the way.
Squeeze excess liquid out of the spinach discard liquid. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the spinach, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Fill salmon ‘pockets’ with 1-2 tablespoons of the spinach dip, spreading evenly with the back of the spoon.
For Stove Top:
Heat butter and remaining oil in a skillet (or non stick pan) over medium-high heat. Add the salmon and fry until golden (about 6 to 7 minutes).
Carefully flip and allow to cook on the other side until golden and cooked through (another 6-7 minutes, depending on the size of your fillets).
Optional: cover with a lid and continue cooking for a further 2-3 minutes, if necessary, until cooked through.
Transfer to a warm plate to make garlic butter.
Garlic Butter: Melt the butter in the remaining oil/juices in the pan leftover from the salmon.
Add the garlic and lemon juice; saute until garlic is fragrant (about 30 seconds). Remove and serve with the salmon.
For Oven Baked Salmon:
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Place stuffed salmon fillets in a shallow lightly greased baking pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until salmon is cooked through, opaque in center, and flakes easily with a fork.
Pour pan juices out into a skillet or frying pan. Add butter, garlic, and lemon juice; saute until garlic is fragrant (about 30 seconds). Remove and serve with the salmon.
For Grilled Asparagus:
Preheat the grill to medium heat, about 350° to 400°F, and brush the grill grates clean.
Remove the woody ends of the asparagus by snapping the ends off. Bend each stalk gently about 2/3 of the way down the stalk until it naturally breaks where the woody part begins. If desired, use a knife to trim the ends of the stalks to tidy up the cuts. Discard the ends.
Place the asparagus spears in a shallow bowl or on a platter or baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss the spears with your hands to coat. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss again.
Place the asparagus across the grill grates perpendicular to the bars. Grill with the lid closed for 6 to 10 minutes or until the spears are tender and crisp. Use tongs to roll the spears for even grill marks.
Transfer to a platter and if desired, drizzle with more olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Can be served warm or at room temperature.