Lentils with Salmon

I don’t usually go in for so many ingredients, but this is too good not to cook. First things first, don’t even bother making this unless you can find a really good fillet of salmon, one that has a oilyness about it so that when it gets into a pan is helps you cook it. If you can find that, and if you are local to me then you will here, then this dish works into a rich lentil meal but with that sweetness that salmon can be capable of –  moist and with a wonderful flavour that holds its own against the meaty lentils. Really, don’t worry if you think that you can’t cook fish you can, and when you do this you will realise anything is possible. You can make the lentil dish up ahead of time and just reheat it while the salmon cooks. Give it a go. One tip, make all the ingredients (not the salmon) as small as you can so they and the salmon can all sit on one fork mouthful at a time. God, this is good. a photo will follow.

Ingredients

  • 4 centre cut filets of salmon, removed skin
  • 1/2 pound puy lentils
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped leeks
  • teaspoon of thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt – kosher if you have it.
  • tablespoon of minced garlic.
  • five good grinds of pepper
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 450/220 degs.
  2. Put the lentils in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them sit there for about 15 minutes then drain them.
  3. Heat the oil in the frying pan add the onions, leeks, thyme, salt and pepper and cook them until the onions are translucent – about ten minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more and then throw in the celery, carrots, chicken stock and tomato paste and give it a good stir. Mix in the drained lentils and cover it, letting it cook until the lentils are tender. When they are, add the vinegar and season.
  5. Now for the salmon. Put the frying pan, dry, onto a high heat for about 4 minutes. Remove the skin from the salmon, oil the fillets on both sides, and season the top.
  6. Turn the pan down to a medium heat, place the salmon seasoned side down in the pan, and do not touch. Let it do the work for you. After about 2 minutes it should being to allow you to gently move it, if it does then turn it over and put the pan in the oven for about 4-5 minutes.
  7. Spoon lentils on the plate, and salmon on top.

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About Cooking At Zero Degrees

This is a blog (it also works on an ipad and now has a Facebook page) about what we eat at home. Starters, mains, sauces, side dishes, cocktails and links to local shops. It’s all here. Food is fun, it should be fun to make and fun to eat. For some people making a meal is a chore. If it is then don’t do it; but please, it’s better to eat something, anything, that you make at home from scratch, because prepared, packaged supermarket dinners and food have about as much flavour as the plastic or cardboard package they come in. Food cultivation and husbandry is not just a moral argument. Eggs that don’t come from battery hens do taste better, cattle properly reared have more flavour - and just think about it: at its most simple, if they’re not being pumped full of chemicals then you’re not being pumped full of chemicals. How good is that? If you can buy local, use your neighbourhood shops, you will miss them when they are gone. Most of all, have fun making a meal of it! Oh, and why at zero degrees? Because that’s where we live – in Greenwich, London.
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