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Native to the eastern Mediterranean basin, asparagus was cultivated in ancient Egypt. It was forgotten in Europe during the Middle Ages, but was revived and popularized in the 18th century by the court of France's “Sun King,” Louis XIV.
Asparagus is valuable as an extremely rich source of vitamin K, the blood clotting factor that plays an important, previously unrecognized role in bone health. It's also a very good source of vitamin C and folate, and a substantial source of various B vitamins.
Adapted from a recipe by Amanda Kelly in “Australian Good Taste”
Prep time 15 minutes
14 oz dried linguini pasta
2 bunches asparagus (stalks removed at natural breaking point), cut into 3 equal lengths diagonally
2 (6 oz each) wild Alaskan salmon fillets
1 small red onion, halved, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 fresh chilies* (mild or hot, to taste), finely chopped OR 1 tsp organic cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon drained coarsely chopped capers
Sea salt and organic black pepper
Lemon wedges, to serve
*Milder choices include jalapeño, Serrano, and ancho chilies; Hot varieties include birds-eye and habañero.
- Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water following packet directions until al dente. Add the asparagus in the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain. Return to the pan.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
- Add salmon and cook for 2 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a chopping board. Use 2 forks to coarsely flake. Add to pasta.
- Add the onion, garlic, chilies, dill, lemon juice and capers to pasta mixture, and gently toss until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide pasta among serving bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.