Roasted Salmon and Lentils recipe from Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours cookbook by Dorie Greenspan
Author Dorie Greenspan on Roasted Salmon and Lentils:
Lentils are so dark and earthy that you might think they’re only meant to go with meat, but it turns out they’re a terrific mate for salmon, something bistro cooks figured out a while ago. The combination of rich, slightly sweet pink salmon on top of the minerally lentils is not just satisfying, it’s good-looking too. And it’s easy to put together, since the lentils can be prepared ahead and the salmon needs less than a quarter of an hour of high-heat roasting. Like many simple dishes, this recipe for roasted salmon and lentils takes to tweaking, even to deluxing. I’ve seen it made grand with the addition of truffles, which are wonderful with both lentils and salmon. While you might not have a hunk of black truffle available to chop and add to the lentils or to shave over the salmon when it’s hot from the oven, you can get a hint of the effect by finishing the dish with a few drops of very fine truffle oil. And when I say a few drops, I mean it: with truffle oil, quality is a must, and restraint an imperative.
Cooks&Books&Recipes Featured Cook Katie:
The recipe I chose as a “test” recipe from the book, Roasted Salmon with Lentils, falls into the latter category. It was fairly fast and easy to prepare and the results were absolutely fantastic. I have never tasted lentils as flavorful and well-seasoned as these were, and the pairing of lentils with salmon is genius. The instructions were very detailed but also clear, and the ingredients were all common foods found in a regular grocery store. The only problem I had in preparing this dish was that my lentils were a little overcooked when I followed the timing in the recipe. This may be because I have an electric stovetop, so if you are cooking on an electric range, I would suggest checking the lentils often for doneness.
Roasted Salmon and Lentils
Featured Recipe From: Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 cup lentils du Puy (French green lentils)
- 1 clove
- 1 small onion
- 1 medium carrot, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 4-6 pieces
- 1 celery stalk, trimmed and cut into 4-6 pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 3½ cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
- 1 1¼-pound piece salmon fillet, cut from the thick center portion, skin on, at room temperature
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley and/or snipped fresh chives, for garnish (optional)
Put the lentils in a strainer, pick through them, and discard any bits of stone that might have escaped the packers; rinse under cold running water.
Turn the lentils into a medium saucepan, cover them with cold water, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes; drain the lentils in the strainer. Rinse the lentils again and rinse out the saucepan.
Press the clove into the onion and toss the onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaf into the pan. Pour in the broth, stir in the lentils, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a steady simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are almost tender. As the lentils cook, skim off the dark foam that rises to the top.
Season with salt and cook until they're tender, 5 to 10 minutes more.
While the lentils are cooking, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Place a strainer over a large measuring cup and drain the lentils, reserving the broth; set the pan aside. Pick out the vegetables and discard the clove and bay leaf; if you'd like to serve the carrots, celery, and onion with the lentils (I always do, although they are very soft), cut them into very small dice. Rinse out the saucepan.
Put the salmon on the foil-lined baking sheet, rub a little olive oil over the top, and season with salt and pepper. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and roast the salmon for about 12 minutes, or until it is firm on the outside and still pink and just the tiniest bit jiggly at the center (nick the thickest part with a slender knife to test). If the salmon is done before you've finished the lentils, cover it lightly with a foil tent and leave it on the counter to rest.
Meanwhile, put ¾ cup of the cooked lentils into a food processor (a mini-processor is fine) or blender and add ½ cup of the reserved broth. Whir for a minute or so, until the lentils are reduced to a puree, then scrape the puree and the remaining cooked lentils back into the saucepan. Pour in another ½ cup broth, add the diced vegetables, if you kept them, and season with salt and pepper as needed. (You can make the lentils to this point and keep them, covered, at room temperature for a few hours or in the refrigerator overnight.)
Return the saucepan to medium heat and cook, stirring, only until the lentils are warmed through again.
Divide the lentils among four warm shallow soup plates. Slice the salmon into 4 portions and place a piece in the center of each plate. Drizzle the salmon and lentils very lightly with olive oil, dust the top of the fish with parsley and/or chives, if you'd like, and serve immediately.
This is a complete meal and a very good one.
Any leftover salmon will be good at room temperature the next day. Should you have leftover lentils, keep them covered in the refrigerator, and reheat them gently in a saucepan on the stove or in a microwave oven; add some of the reserved broth, if you kept it, or water to the pan or bowl.
© 2010 Dorie Greenspan, photographs © 2010 Alan Richardson
Reprinted with permission from Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan, photographs by Alan Richardson Styler (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)