When asparagus first appears on the grocery sale sheet in the Buy One Get One Free column, I know spring is announcing its impending arrival. I first stumbled upon a recipe for asparagus, avocado, and parsnip "chips" more than 10 years ago, and promptly lost both the recipe and the site where it came from. With the additions of bacon, salmon, and a sour cream and cumin sauce, this salad pays homage to the original while updating it for our modern chaotic times. Don't let the parsnip chips scare you off. They lend a crispy sweet nuttiness to this salad, nearly reminiscent of caramelized onions.
Asparagus Avocado Salad with Parsnip Chips and Salmon
Makes 2 generous servings
2 cups red romaine
2 slices bacon, cooked
2 green onions
1 big bunch asparagus, roasted in a bit of olive oil or steamed
10 Kalamata olives
1 parsnip; shaved using a cucumber peeler and fried crisp in olive oil, drained and salted
2 - 6 ounce salmon fillets, skin removed
1/4 cup sour cream
Olive oil, juice and zest of one lemon
Cumin, salt, and pepper
Toss lettuce, bacon, onions, avocado, asparagus, and olives together on salad plate. Dress with olive oil, salt, pepper, and some of the lemon juice
Season salmon fillets with salt, pepper, cumin, and olive oil; fry skin-side down on high heat in oven-proof pan about 4 minutes or until nice golden crust forms on bottom; carefully flip fish and place pan and fish in 400 degree oven until cooked through, about 7 minutes.
Combine sour cream, salt, pepper, and about 1 teaspoon cumin. Flavor with zest and some of the lemon juice.
Serve salad with salmon and cream sauce on the side; top with crispy parsnips.