Last weekend I missed my usual Farmers’ Market because I had to work all day Saturday. They are only on every two weeks in my area so missing one means 4 weeks between visits. And this week I was having serious withdrawal symptoms 😉 I was missing the quality of the food but more than that I was missing the time in the Market and the positive effects it has on my state of being. I love wandering through the stalls, chatting to farmers, knowing that I’m amongst hundreds of like-minded souls and absorbing the whole atmosphere. It rejuvenates and calms me and I always come back with a peaceful smile on my face. When work is crazy-busy, going to my local Farmers’ Markets takes on an even more important role – of keeping my stress levels down. So I wasn’t prepared to wait four weeks for another “hit” and decided to visit a Farmers’ Market that is a bit further away. This meant driving across town which I normally don’t like to do seeing as Farmers’ Markets are in part about being environmentally conscious and reducing food miles. But this week my main concern was the calming function.
Amongst the usual things I buy there was a stall at this particular market selling salmon. Farmed salmon. I haven’t decided how I feel about aquaculture yet. Our wild fisheries are being seriously overfished so aquaculture provides a more sustainable source of fish. But then many aquaculture facilities pollute the environment through their waste and may need to harvest spawn and even ongoing fish food from the wild. That is, some types of aquaculture continue to deplete our wild fish reserves. Now because of the rules of the Market I attended, I know that this aquaculture facility would be best practice and low polluting so I decided to try their fresh salmon.
Oh Yum! So tasty and fresh! My recipe is inspired from an original Jamie Oliver tray baked salmon recipe. It tells you a bit about what we’re seasonally eating at the moment. I love spring vegies! We’ll be having this version again for sure.
Baked salmon with asparagus, snowpeas and tomatoes
:: olive oil
:: 300-400 g fresh salmon, if desired cut into large chunks
:: juice of half a lemon
:: bunch of asparagus, ends removed, chopped into two equal lengths
:: two tomatoes, chopped into chunks or about 12 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
:: handful of fresh mint, leaves separated and stems discarded
:: about twelve black olives
:: 6-12 anchovies depending on your taste (optional, but they REALLY add flavour)
:: handful of snowpeas, topped and tailed
:: salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 200 °C
2. Pour a small amount of olive oil into a large baking tray and use clean fingers to ensure bottom of tray is covered in oil
3. Wash salmon and pat dry with paper towels
4. Place salmon down one end of baking tray, cover both sides in lemon juice. Place with skin side down and drizzle olive oil over top. Salt and pepper top to taste.
5. In a separate bowl toss together asparagus, tomatoes, mint and olives with a little olive oil. Pepper to taste (you may also add salt but you get a bit from the olives and anchovies so I don’t).
6. Place the vegetable mix down the other end of the baking tray and lay anchovies across the top
7. Place in oven for 10 minutes
8. Take out of oven and toss snowpeas through vegetable mix. Cook in oven for a further 5 minutes
9. Serve with potatoes or rice and extra lemon wedges
Serves two, just increase amounts for extra people. Oh and increase the size of your baking tray rather than separating the fish and vegetables – the juices from the vegetables make the salmon extra yummy.