Serves 4 as a main course


In spite of all the worrying publicity, we shouldn't be be put off eating salmon, once the king of fish. Wild salmon or sea trout is now in season but you pay a high price for the genuine article.

The reputation of farmed salmon has taken a knocking, and we must accept responsibility for the damage done to its image. Our eating habits determine what needs to be intensively farmed and what can be left to fend for itself on land or at sea.

The solution to the demand for cheaper salmon and chicken has been intensive farming. Most of us do buy farmed salmon, but at least try and assure yourself it comes from a good source.

Even if you're not able to buy wild salmon in season, English asparagus is available. Take advantage of that while you can.

4 x 130-150g salmon portions, skinned and boned
12tbsp chopped parsley
12tbsp chopped chervil
12tbsp chopped chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
120g small salad leaves
250g thin or sprue asparagus
2tbsp olive oil

for the dressing

1tbsp good quality white wine vinegar, such as chardonnay
1tsp Dijon mustard
4tbsp olive oil

Mix the herbs together and put them on to a plate. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and coat them in the herbs. Heat the oil preferably in a non-stick frying pan and cook the salmon for about 3 minutes on each side, keeping it slightly pink in the middle. Remove from the pan and put to one side.

Trim any woody ends from the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes in boiling salted water, until tender, then drain.

Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together and seasoning with salt and pepper. Mix the asparagus with the salad leaves and mix with the dressing, season again lightly with salt and pepper and arrange on plates. Break the salmon fillets into 5 or 6 pieces and arrange on the salad. Serve with Jersey Royals or add tiny new potatoes to the salad itself.

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