Fresh young vegetables and succulent salmon make this an excellent speedy dish to prepare for special occasions, especially when home-grown asparagus is in season. Tiny leeks, tender asparagus and sugarsnap peas all cook quickly and look superb. Serve with boiled new potatoes for a memorable meal.
Excellent source of vitamin B12. Good source of folate, vitamin B6, vitamin C. Useful source of iron, niacin, selenium, vitamin B1.
Mackerel fillets can be casseroled in the same way. Season the mackerel fillets and fold them loosely in half, with the skin outside. Use baby carrots, or large carrots cut into short, thick sticks, instead of the asparagus, and medium-dry cider instead of the wine. Add 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary to the vegetables before arranging the mackerel on top and pouring in the cider and stock. * For a quick Oriental fish casserole, use cod or halibut fillet instead of salmon, 4 spring onions instead of the leeks, and 300 g (10½ oz) button mushrooms instead of the asparagus. Arrange the vegetables and fish as in the main recipe, adding 4 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry with the stock instead of the white wine. Omit the butter; sprinkle 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger and 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil over the fish. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander and serve with plain boiled rice.
Asparagus contains asparagine, a phytochemical that acts as a diuretic. The ancient Greeks used asparagus to treat kidney problems. Today naturopaths recommend eating asparagus to help to relieve bloating associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). * Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat thought to help to protect against coronary heart disease and strokes by making blood less ‘sticky’ and therefore less likely to clot. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may also be helpful in preventing and treating arthritis.