I just made this for dinner last night and I am once again reminded of how much I love lentils. the lentils really are the star of this dish. They are tender, brothy and fragrant with garlic and leeks and sweet from the carrots and a bit spicy from the crushed chilies. And, in addition to being utterly delicious, they also happen to be super healthy as well.
1 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoons of oil
1/2 cup of onions, small dice
1/2 cup of leeks, cleaned well and thinly sliced
1/2 cup of carrots, peeled and cut into a small dice
1/2 cup of celery, small dice
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 pinch of crushed chilies or more to taste
1 28 oz can of whole, peeled, Italian Roma tomatoes
3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock or even water
1 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
1 Parmesan rind (optional)
1 cup of Puy lentils, picked over for small stones and rinsed
salt and pepper
2 Salmon Fillets
Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, leeks and carrots and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until they are soft and fragrant but not browned. Add the celery and garlic, season with some salt and pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Add the can of tomatoes and break up the whole tomatoes with a spoon. Add the stock, lentils, thyme, bay leaves and Parmesan rind if using. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
This is more of a method than a recipe. I tend not to use a lot of sauces in my cooking preferring to allow a beautiful piece of salmon to taste like …. well salmon. So here it is, just the salmon, some fine grain sea salt, freshly ground pepper and a splash of olive oil. And of course a hot pan, always a hot pan when searing fish.
Remove the salmon fillets from the fridge 20 minutes or so before you are planning to cook them. This will bring them to come up to room temperature and allows for them to cook more evenly.
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.
Pat the fillets dry to remove any excess moisture and season well with salt and pepper.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat until very hot. Add the olive oil and carefully place the salmon, skin side down, in the pan being careful not to crowd the pan. Allow to cook for 3 minutes or so without touching, poking or trying to move the fillets at all. After approximately 3 minutes you should be able to easily flip the fillets over.
Transfer the (oven proof) sauté pan to the preheated oven and cook for approximately 10 minutes.
Once you have cooked your fish to your liking allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.
Serve on top of lentils and sauteed spinach.