This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Roasted Salmon and Lentils, is a classic french flavor combination and a favorite in my house. I am almost embarrassed to admit how often we eat this dish; easily once a month, probably more. But I had not, until this week, tried Dorie’s version.
Dorie’s, and pretty much every other recipe I have ever seen for this dish, calls for Puy Lentils, so named because they are grown in the Le Puy region of France. I love these lentils, in addition to their gorgeous green, swirly appearance, they retain their individuality & bite better than other lentils.
Dorie’s recipe, a classic preparation, was delicious and we really enjoyed it. I just love this dish and never seem to tire of it. Not because the flavors are over the top exciting or special, but because it is a meal that you can feel good about, low in fat, high in vitamins, simple & tasty.
And now for the big BUT. You have already heard me rave about Puy lentils, they undeniably make this dish better. BUT, salmon & lentils has become one of my get-something-wholesome-and-healthy-on-the-table-quickly-because-I-am-tired-and-hungry meals. And therefore, I meekly admit that I usually use canned lentils for this dish. I further (and even more meekly) admit that I will probably continue to do so, because this is just such a great way to get something healthy on the table in the middle of the week.
So, Dorie’s version is best, but if you want a quick, weeknight version, I humbly submit my “recipe”:
- one small red onion, finely chopped
- one carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- one small red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
- one stalk of celery, finely chopped (this one can be left out in a pinch)
- 2 cans lentils, rinsed & drained
- juice of half a lemon
- a handful of minced fresh basil (parsley works too, dried herbs can also be used, but I find that fresh herbs tend to make you forget that the lentils came from a can)
- salmon steaks for however many you are feeding (there are enough lentils here to serve 6, but they make great leftovers so I never reduce the amounts, regardless of how many I am serving)
- Preheat oven to 450 F
- Warm a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet (do not use non-stick) over medium heat and saute the veggies. I can’t tell you how long these cook for, I like to get them started first so that they can cook for as long as possible over medium heat and start to caramelize just a bit. In any case, just keep an eye on them and turn the heat down if they start to burn.
- Lightly oil and season the salmon steaks and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness.
- When the salmon is almost finished, add the lentils to the pan with the veggies to warm them through. Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice, herbs, and salt & pepper to taste.
- A quick drizzle of olive oil (the good stuff) over the top adds a nice finish to the dish, but is not absolutely necessary. Or, as Dorie suggested, go fancy and add a couple drops of truffle oil. Enjoy!