Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Seventy-One: Barefoot in Paris

by Ina Garten

                          Salmon with Lentils

This recipe could certainly be included in Ina's book "How Easy is That?" That is what I love about her recipes; always simple, easy, and tasty. 

When I think of French food I visualize cream sauces, cheese, wine, and pastries. This is actually very healthy though you would not know it by the taste alone. The leeks bring a buttery flavor to the lentils and the addition of a splash of vinegar at the end gives it a zing that I think makes this dish.

If you can find French green lentils it would make for a prettier presentation. I used your basic brown lentil - that's all I have ever used, so I do not know if by using green lentils if it would effect the flavor any.

This is one to try and the simplicity makes it a perfect meal any day of the week.

Success meter (1-3): 3

Salmon with Lentils
Serves 4

½ lb French green lentils such as du Puy
¼ cup good olive oil, plus extra for salmon
2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbl minced fresh garlic
1 ½ cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
1 ½ cups chopped carrots (3 carrots)
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 Tbl tomato paste
2 Tbl good red wine vinegar
4 (8-oz) center-cut salmon fillets, skin removed

Place the lentils in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 15 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a sauté pan, add the onions, leeks, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, Add the lentils, celery, carrots, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add the vinegar and season to taste.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

For the salmon, heat a dry oven-proof sauté pan over high heat for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, rub both sides of the salmon fillets with olive oil and season the tops very liberally with salt and pepper. When the pan is very hot, place the salmon fillets seasoning-sides down in the pan and cook over medium heat without moving them for 2 minutes, until very browned. Turn the fillets and place the pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until the salmon is cooked rare. Spoon a mound of lentils on each plate and place a salmon fillet on top. Serve hot.

Barefoot in Paris/Ina Garten

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