Hans Rockenwagner serves this dish in asparagus season at his two L.A. restaurants.
Yield: serves 4
For the Mashed Potatoes
- 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and halved
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp. butter, softened
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 1 1⁄2 lb. cooked fresh white asparagus,
- cooking liquid reserved
For the Salmon
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 (4-oz.) skinless salmon filets
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Half a lemon, seeded
- Vegetable confetti (see recipe)
- For the mashed potatoes: Put potatoes in a medium pot, cover with cold water, and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender when pierced with a skewer, 25-30 minutes. Drain, then return potatoes to pot over medium heat, shaking it until potatoes are dry and mealy, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and mash potatoes in pot with a potato masher until finely textured. Add cream, then beat in butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
- For the salmon: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season salmon with salt and pepper, add to skillet, and sear until browned, crusty, and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Squeeze some lemon juice over salmon just before salmon is done. Reduce heat to low to keep salmon warm.
- Untie string from asparagus bundles. Set 12 spears aside. Chop remaining spears into 1⁄2” lengths, then fold into mashed potatoes. If you like, gradually stir in a little asparagus cooking liquid for lighter, more flavorful mashed potatoes. Divide potatoes between four plates, set salmon on top, then arrange 3 reserved asparagus spears over each filet. Serve with vegetable confetti and garnish with sprigs of parsley, if you like.