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California Asparagus with Salmon and Lemony Orzo Salad

California Asparagus with Salmon and Lemony Orzo Salad

Yield: 6 servings.

  • 4 Tbsp. coriander seed
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. fresh California Asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 lb. orzo
  • 6 salmon fillets, about 4 oz. each
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley leaves

In medium saute pan over medium heat, toast coriander seeds, stirring constantly, just until fragrant and beginning to brown. immediately transfer seeds to spice ginder or mortar and pestle. Add peppercorns and grind until fine. Stir in sea salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Whisk in olive oil; set aside. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil over high heat. Add asparagus and cook until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer asparagus to colander, refresh under cold running water to stop the cooking and drain well. Reserve a few asparagus tips for garnish.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour dressing over orzo and stir to combine. Heavily dust both sides of salmon fillets with spice mixture.

In large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add salmon and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until golden brown and flesh is opaque, about 3 minutes more.

To serve: Stir asparagus and parsley into orzo salad. Divide orzo salad evenly among 6 serving plates. Top each with a salmon filet. Garnish with reserved asparagus tips and serve immediately.