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Grilled King Salmon with Asparagus, Morels, and Leeks

Photo: Peden & Munk; Styling: Amy Wilson


Total time 1 hr, 15 mins
Yield Serves 6
Steelhead Diner sits above Seattle's Pike Place Market, and chef Kevin Davis came up with this splurge-worthy combo when local salmon, asparagus, and morels all showed up downstairs.


  • 1 pound slender asparagus, trimmed and cut in half on a diagonal
  • 1 large leek (white part only), thinly sliced and rinsed well to remove dirt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1/2 pound fresh morel mushrooms, rinsed well and halved lengthwise, or 3/4 oz. dried morels*
  • 1/4 cup fino sherry or dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 king or coho salmon fillet (1 1/2 lbs., 1 in. thick), with skin
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Nutrition Information

  • calories 448
  • caloriesfromfat 71 %
  • protein 25 g
  • fat 35 g
  • satfat 15 g
  • carbohydrate 8.7 g
  • fiber 2.7 g
  • sodium 366 mg
  • cholesterol 132 mg

How to Make It

  1. Boil asparagus until barely tender-crisp, 2 minutes; drain and rinse asparagus in cold water.

  2. Heat grill to medium-high (about 450°).

  3. Cook leek in butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until soft, 5 minutes. Add thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and the morels; cook, stirring occasionally, until morels are tender, 5 minutes. Stir in sherry and reduce by half, 30 to 45 seconds. Set vegetables aside.

  4. Fold a 12- by 17-in. sheet of heavy-duty foil in half crosswise. With a knife tip, poke dime-size holes through foil about 2 in. apart. Oil one side of foil. Rub fish on both sides with oil and put skin side down on foil. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper.

  5. Set salmon on foil on cooking grate; grill, covered, until fish is barely cooked through, about 10 minutes. With 2 wide spatulas, slide fish from skin to a warm baking sheet; tent with foil. If you want crisp skin, continue to cook skin on foil until crisp, 1 to 3 minutes more. Remove foil from grill, then gently peel off skin, using fingers or a wide spatula (skin may break into pieces). Set salmon skin, if using, on a platter.

  6. Add cream and asparagus to mushrooms and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring; boil longer to thicken sauce if you like. With 2 spatulas, set fish on skin. Spoon half the vegetable sauce over salmon and serve the rest on the side. Serve immediately.

  7. *Soak dried morels in hot water until softened, 8 minutes. Squeeze out water; cut in half.

  8. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Also appeared in: Sunset, June, 2010;