Celebrate spring with salmon

April 3, 2013 

Salmon with olive tapenade served with fettuccini and asparagus is a great harbinger of spring. Pan-searing the salmon makes it crisp on the outside and tender and moist inside. The salmon takes only a few minutes to cook this way.

Tapenade is a paste made from olives, garlic, olive oil and herbs. There are many good varieties in the market.


Nutrition: 635 calories per serving; 42 percent from fat

Fred Tasker’s wine suggestion: Seared salmon would go wonderfully with a nice fruity pinot noir.

Substitute: Fresh fettuccini is used in this recipe. I have also given the method for dried fettuccini.

To find: Olive tapenade can be found in the condiment section of the market.

To cook: Use a skillet that is just large enough to hold fish. Make sure the skillet is very hot before adding the salmon. It should be smoking.

To buy: 3/4 pound salmon fillet, 1 container olive tapenade, 1/4 pound asparagus, 1 small package fresh fettuccini

Staples: Olive oil spray, olive oil, salt, black peppercorns


3/4 pound salmon fillet, skin removed

Olive oil spray

1 tablespoon olive tapenade

Freshly ground pepper

Rinse salmon and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat a skillet over high heat and spray with olive oil. When skillet is hot, add salmon and brown on one side for 3 minutes. Turn and brown second side 1 minute. Lower heat to medium and cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with pepper to taste. Divide into two portions on dinner plates. Spoon tapenade on top.

Per serving: 393 calories (61 percent from fat), 26.7 g fat (5.7 g saturated, 7.8 g monounsaturated), 96 mg cholesterol, 34.7 g protein, 1.1 g carbohydrates, no fiber, 180 mg sodium


1/4 pound asparagus

1/4 pound fresh fettuccini

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and ground pepper

Bring a large saucepan with 3-4 quarts of water to a boil. Trim and discard about 1 inch from the base end of the asparagus and cut the rest into 2-inch pieces. If using fresh fettuccini, add pasta and asparagus to the boiling water and bring back to a boil for 3 minutes. If using dried fettuccini, add pasta to the boiling water for about 5 minutes and then add asparagus and cook for an additional 4 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons of cooking liquid to a large bowl. Drain fettuccini and asparagus and add to bowl with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine.

Per serving: 242 calories (12 percent from fat), 3.2 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 1.8 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 8.7 g protein, 44.8 g carbohydrates, 3.0 g fiber, 4 mg sodium

Serves: 2 Serves: 2 Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks, including “The Flavors of the Florida Keys” and “Mix ’n’ Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes.” Go to dinnerinminutes.com.

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