Monday, April 4, 2011

Roasted Salmon and Lentils

On the Saturday that my brother was visiting we had all sorts of baseball and softball games and pictures to go to. Then came the rain. It started in the morning and didn't stop. My daughter stood out on the baseball field in the pouring rain for about 10 minutes and then they cancelled the game. The rest of the days games were cancelled as well.

I was already planning to make this dish for dinner on that night, but the rain and thunderstorms made it even more satisfying. I found some French Green lentils at Earthfare- aren't they pretty? The look like pretty little pebbles. And they have a really unique texture and flavor. It is very subtle, but if you look for it, you can taste feel the difference from your normal brown lentils.

The lentils are cooked with the onion, carrot and celery to give some nice flavor and then the veggies are diced and served alongside the lentils. The salmon is roasted and tops off the dish.

We accompanied this with a nice green salad and it was a complete meal. Perfect for a rainy night. Very comforting.

Roasted Salmon and Lentils from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan
1 cup lentils du Puy (French green lentils)
1 clove (I omitted this because I didn't have any whole cloves)
1 small onion
1 medium carrot, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 4–6 pieces (I used 2 carrots)
1 celery stalk, trimmed and cut into 4–6 pieces (I used 3 stalks of celery)
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.


Donna (Texas) said...

Well, Now I'm hungry!Hahaa
Nice blog!
Have a great day!

Hazel said...

This looks delicious! I have not eaten salmon with lentils before. Especially not pretty green pebble lentils!