Roasted Salmon and Asparagus with Pistachio Gremolata

Update, Nov 2015: The gremolata is also excellent with diced almonds, instead of pistachio.

Cook’s notes: The recipe author, Molly Gilbert, notes that gremolata “is just a simple Italian condiment of chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest. Our version has some some chopped pistachios, too, for an extra salty, crunchy bite. It brings a little zing to a straightforward meal of roasted fish and bright asparagus” (page 88). This is a four-star recipe from the terrific Sheet Pan Suppers book.

The recipe originally called for 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; the pepper flavor was very strong. I’d reduce this to 1/4 teaspoon and add more after roasting if needed. We didn’t have fresh parsley, and the gremolata was still delicious.

Serves 2 with leftover vegetables (you can add 2 more fish filets to serve 4 people).

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed (about a pound)
Olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
2 salmon filets, 5 to 6 oz. each
1/2 red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-circles
1 lemon
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes

The lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 cup roasted, salted and shelled pistachios, chopped

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with a Silpat liner (or parchment paper).

Place the asparagus on the prepared pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt (1/4 teaspoon) and ground black pepper (1/4 teaspoon). Stir to coat and arrange asparagus in a single layer. Arrange the fish filets over the asparagus, spaced evenly. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper to taste.

Zest the lemon. Set zest aside. Thinly slice the zested lemon into round wheels.

Scatter lemon slices, red onion, and tomatoes around the asparagus. Drizzle everything with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until asparagus is tender and the fish is opaque throughout.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the lemon zest, garlic, dried parsley, and pistachios. Season with a pinch of salt and juice from the reserved lemon slice.

Sprinkle pistachio mixture over fish just before serving.