High temperature cooking, like grilling a fresh piece of salmon directly over a flame, can cause important nutrients, like Omega-3 fatty acids, to turn from heart healthful to heart harmful. Under high temperatures, the good fats can be oxidized, transforming them into compounds that may damage the cells of our arteries.
Here is a recipe that combines the health-preserving qualities of wine-roasting with some of the tasty elements of high temperature cooking like broiling. Most of the cooking is done in the wine and leek liquid, a lower temperature cooking technique.
Cooking the asparagus in the same pan adds flavors and allows for one less pan to be cleaned. Finishing under the broiler gives a nice, richer looking top. During the spring and early summer, try adding fresh peas to the dish. Add the peas when you add the asparagus. And remember – enjoy the nutrient-rich sauce this dish creates.
- 1 cup White Wine (riesling, sauvignon blanc or other lighter white)
- 1⁄2 cup Leeks, green tops only (cut into 1 inch pieces)
- 1 cup Asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
- 8 oz Salmon fillet
- Preheat oven to 350 and place low rimmed pan in oven also to preheat.
- Cut salmon into 2 4-ounce pieces.
- When pre-heated, add wine, salmon and leeks to pan.
- Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes depending on thickness of salmon fillet. Then add the cut asparagus with the exception of the tips. Cook covered for another 3-4 minutes.
- Now add asparagus tips, making sure to coat with moisture in pan. Turn temperature to broil and place pan on top rack. After about two minutes, remove from oven. Salmon should be quite moist with a nicely grilled top.
In the spring, you can try replacing the leeks with wild ramps. Also, peas can substitute for the asparagus — or use both to enrich the nutrient quality of this meal.
Note that the benefits of the salmon extend beyond the 2-2.5g of Omega-3 delivered in each 4 ounce serving (assume Atlantic salmon; other species have lower levels of Omega-3s). Salmon also is an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that the body needs in greater abundance than any other mineral (in a healthy individual, 4x the amount of calcium and 10x the amount of magnesium). Potassium is also found in the leeks and the asparagus. Potassium plays an important role in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and is useful in offsetting the adverse effects of sodium on blood pressure. This dish is low in sodium.
– Rob Leighton
Author of many acclaimed books on nutrition, gourmet cooking, undieting and cardiovascular health, Rob is the creator of the Kardea Kitchen. The Kitchen is a resource for thousands of people seeking delicious, natural solution for heart healthy living and lasting weight loss. Learn more about Rob’s latest book, written with Dr. Richard Collins, The Cooking Cardiologist, and un-dieting expert, Susan Buckley, RD, CDE.