Lentils and Salmon + My Book!
Welcome to Cookbook Week on Macheesmo! I’ll be posting recipes from five cookbooks this week and giving away copies! All winners will be announced next Friday (11/14).
I just couldn’t let cookbook week go by without posting one of my favorite recipes from Love Your Leftovers! The problem is that because the way the book is structured, it can be a bit hard to pull out a single recipe to feature. After all, the whole point is to cook in large batches and use the book to make a bunch of different meals!
But, there are plenty of recipes in the book that are stand alone and great for fast, delicious meals. One of my favorites is this recipe for lentils and salmon. While I wrote the recipe to be in the lentils chapter, it’s a perfect cross-over with the salmon chapter also.
Because both of those things cook fairly quickly, it’s not a big deal to just make this guy from scratch any day of the week. It’s a warming meal, but at the same time pretty light and healthy. Even though I tested the crap out of these recipes while writing the book, this is one of them that I still look forward to making and eating.
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook lentils according to package by simmering in boiling water. Be careful not to over-cook the lentils as they will just turn to mush.
2) Drizzle salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add salmon fillet, skin-side up, to a hot, oven-safe skillet over high heat. Sear salmon for 3 minutes and flip.
3) After searing the fillets, turn them skin side down and add a small knob of butter to each fillet. Stick pan in the oven and finish cooking for 5-7 minutes. The total time will depend on thickness of the salmon.
4) For lentils add olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper.
5) Stir in cooked and drained lentils, capers, and fresh thyme. Stir to combine flavors.
6) Add butter and lemon juice to finish the lentils and season with salt and pepper.
7) Serve the seared salmon on a bed of lentils garnished with fresh lemon.
Lentils and Salmon
Salmon can be expensive, especially if you are buying the good, wild caught stuff (which I recommend). Luckily, you don’t need a lot of it to make a great meal. Even for a dude like me, four ounces of it is plenty to fill me up. Six if I’m super-hungry.
I always recommend cooking the salmon with the skin on to keep it from over-cooking. First rule of salmon: Do no harm. Just salt and pepper.
I sear the salmon in an oven-safe skillet for about 2-3 minutes in a little olive oil over high heat. Once it’s seared, I flip it so the skin is down and top it with a little butter.
Then stick the skillet in a 350 degree F. oven for 5-7 minutes until it’s just cooked through. You can obviously cook multiple fillets at once or cook them as a big piece and then cut them into portions after cooking.
The finished salmon is beautifully roasted with crispy skin. It should just flake apart.
I originally wrote this recipe to use leftover lentils, but lentils take all of 10 minutes to cook so it isn’t a bit deal to cook a batch and then use them to finish off this delicious mix.
Other important stuff: onion, celery, carrots. I had some fancy organic carrots in my fridge that I used for this version,but obviously you can use the plain old orange guys.
Cook the lentils according to the package. I like to just simmer mine in water with no seasoning (we’ll season them later). The key is to not overcook them which can easily happen. If you overcook them, they will just turn to mush.
Add a good drizzle of olive oil to a large skillet and cook the veggies over medium heat. Once the onions, celery, and carrots have softened, add the garlic and lentils and cook.
If you’re using capers (highly recommended) add those in also with some lemon juice and fresh thyme.
Finish off this mix with some butter in the pan and season it well with salt and pepper.
I think this recipe for lentils and salmon turns out to be a pretty elegant looking plate of food given that it’s really basic ingredients and takes well under an hour from start to finish.
Yummy meal, but let’s talk cookbook!
In case you’ve missed any of the previous giveaways this week, here’s a re-cap!
Monday: The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book
Tuesday: The Kitchn Cookbook
Wednesday: Easy Gourmet
Thursday: Homemade Decadence
All of those giveaways are still open to enter!
And good news, because today I’m giving away my own damn book, I can give away more of them and also sign them!
Good luck everyone and I hope you all liked cookbook week! I might do it again in the spring!