I am attempting to reduce my carbs input, and this recipe just hits the spot. It is surprisingly delicious, with two crucial points in the recipe. First, the crispy salmon crust that is made by searing the fish in a very hot pan; second, the addition of vinegar to the lentils adds a fantastic freshness.
I found this recipe in a beautiful cookbook Barefoot in Paris. I think it is the perfect recipe for entertaining, provided you are blessed with guests that like fish.
200 g green lentils
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
2 springs of thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
about 2 dL vegetable stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon good red wine vinegar
2 salmon fillets, each about 200 g
Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onions, leek, celery, and carrots and cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook a bit more. Add the lentils, stock, thyme, and a generous pinch of salt and cook for about 25 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add the vinegar and season to taste.
Preheat the oven to 200 C.
For the salmon, heat a dry oven-proof sauté pan over high heat. Meanwhile, rub both sides of the salmon fillets with olive oil and season generously. When the pan is very hot, place the salmon fillets and cook over medium heat without moving for 2 minutes, until very browned. Turn the filets and place in the oven for 10 minutes, or until it is cooked to your liking.
Spoon a mound of lentils on each plate and place a salmon filet on top. Serve hot.