Pan-Seared Salmon with Roasted Asparagus

Spring’s bounty arrives with asparagus season available in local markets, offering a taste of the season’s vibrant flavours.

The West Coast joins the celebration with salmon season, bringing an abundance of delicious fresh fish to Calgary.

Asparagus season has arrived with the fresh flavours of spring. Local markets and stores are currently well-stocked with this prized seasonal vegetable.

Salmon season has also arrived on the West Coast and we look forward to all the fresh fish coming to the markets and stores in Calgary. Growing up in Northern BC and fishing with my father every summer instilled a deep appreciation for this incredible fish. From the thrill of the catch to savouring every bite, salmon season was always a highlight.

I’ve tried several varieties of salmon over the years, my favourite is sea-run steelhead trout from B.C. In Alberta, you can buy fresh steelhead in the summer and frozen steelhead in the off-season. Keep in mind, steelhead trout can be smaller than its salmon cousins, so cook times will be shorter. As a general rule, aim for 4-6 minutes per half-inch thickness, or an internal temperature of 125°F (52°C). Remember, fish continues to cook slightly after being removed from the heat.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Asparagus

Salmon and asparagus is a classic combination; sear the salmon in a cast-iron pan, while the asparagus is roasting in the oven. Just before serving, garnish this dish with a quick pea shoot and dill salad tossed with lemon vinaigrette.
Servings 4



  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 4 oz salmon fillets


  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon zest
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus

Pea Shoot Salad

  • 1 cup fresh pea shoots
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper 2
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted



  • Pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot and smoking slightly.
  • Carefully place the salmon fillets, skin-side down, in the hot pan. Sear for 3-4 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Do not move the salmon too much to ensure the crust becomes crispy.
  • Using a sturdy spatula, carefully flip the salmon. If the flesh side starts to brown too fast, flip the fillets back to the skin side. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until temperature is 125 F. Remove to a plate to rest before serving.


  • Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).
  • Wash the asparagus under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Snap off the tough ends of the spears by holding each end and bending until it naturally breaks at the point where it becomes tender. Alternatively, you can snap off one spear and then cut off the rest of the woody ends at that length.
  • Place the asparagus in a casserole dish, or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Toss with tongs to ensure all is coated. Arrange asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle on lemon zest.
  • Roast for 10-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the spears. It’s done when it is tender and slightly caramelized but still retains a bit of a bite.

Pea Shoot and Dill Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

  • In a small bowl toss pea shoots through scallion. In a cup whisk olive oil and lemon juice with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour dressing over mixture and toss to combine. When ready to serve sprinkle sliced almonds on top.
  • To serve, place roasted asparagus on a platter or individual plates. Top with salmon fillets. Garnish with pea shoot and dill salad. Serve immediately.