By Libby Pike, VA Medical Center Dietetic Intern
Spring is finally coming! With our long, brutal winter finally coming to an end, I ecstatically welcome the fresh flavors of spring. As the days get longer, and the temperature rises, I long for the refreshing and light meals. The abundance of asparagus and leeks paired with the rich flavor and salmon are the perfect match for a light and flavorful spring supper.
Salmon is packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids that support brain function and help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular problems, several types of cancer, and many other heath issues. Asparagus will provide more than the recommended daily value of vitamin K and is also high in folate and copper. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
The following recipe is a light and refreshing dish sure to put a spring in your step as you enjoy the warmer days of spring. This nutrient-packed meal will bring the fresh flavors of spring we’ve all been waiting for!
Salmon & Asparagus Barley Stew
Adapted from Eatingwell.com
- 3 cups water
- ¾ cup barley
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups halved and thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or “no-chicken” broth
- 3 tbsp white miso
- 1 ¼ lbs. wild Alaskan salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tbsp. basil, fresh, very thinly sliced
- 2 tsp dried Thyme
- ¼ tsp. pepper
1. Combine water and barley in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until tender and chewy, about 30 minutes. Drain.
2. About 15 minutes after you start the barley, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add asparagus and garlic; cook, stirring, until the asparagus is bright green, about 2 minutes. Add broth and miso; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and gently stir in salmon. Simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil, thyme and pepper.
3. Divide the barley among 4 deep bowls and top with the salmon stew.