This was the other new recipe on my menu last week and what a pleasant surprise. Not only was it quick and easy to make, it was so super tasty that every one ate it - even my extremely picky oldest Pea Pod who only eats about five things. And the leftover lentils were yummy over brown rice for lunch the next day. Again this came from my new cookbooks, "The Best of HeartSmart Cooking" by Bonnie Stern. The Other Half says that he has liked everything I have made from it so much that Ms. Stern may soon edge out his food heartthrob, Ina Garten (high praise from a man who has said that he would only consider cheating on me if Jeffrey, Ina's husband, was no longer in the picture and The Other Half might have the chance to eat Ina food every night).
Couple of notes: This does require a higher that usual number of pans and make for a slightly bigger clean-up, but if your house is like mine once The Other Half is done eating a good meal he is more than happy to clean up the mess required to make it.
I did not have plum tomatoes on hand so I substituted Muir Glen No-Salt Added Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes. One cup was about 3/4 of the can. I froze the remainder of the can for use later.
If possible use wild-caught salmon. Try and get as even a cut of fillet as consistent a thickness as possible so that it will cook evenly. I find it is a lot easier to skin the fillet after you have portioned it.
I found that it took a good 10 minutes for the carrots to become tender. I would say keep an eye on them after 8 minutes but make sure you let them soften up a bit or their texture will be really off from all the other components in the dish.
I served this with some roasted red potatoes and a small baby arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette, but you could easily just eat this and be plenty satisfied. I hope you enjoy this a much as we did!
Roasted Salmon with Lentils
1 1/2 cups dried lentils (I used green because that was what I had in the pantry)
4 tsp olive oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground roasted cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup plum tomatoes with juices, pureed
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, rinsed and chopped
1/2 tsp pepper
Salt to taste
1 1/2 lbs. salmon fillet, cut in 6 pieces, skin removed
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped (can substitute 1/4 tsp dried rosemary)
Place lentils in a bowl of water, covered by several inches and pick out any that float to the surface, then rinse and drain. Place in a large pot and cover generously with water (at least 2 extra inches of water). Bring to a boil and then simmer gently for 25-35 minutes until just tender. Rinse and drain well, then set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large pan on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add cumin and red pepper flakes then cook an additional 30 seconds. Add carrots, celery and tomato puree to pan and cook 8-10 minutes until carrots are tender and liquid from tomato is reduced slightly. Add lentils, parsley and salt and pepper to the pan. Keep warm.
Preheat oven at 400 degrees.
Heat remaining 1 tsp of oil in a separate pan over medium heat. While heating pat salmon dry and sprinkle with rosemary. Once hot, place in pan and cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until fillet is lightly brown and developing a crust. Transfer salmon to baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or leave in pan if oven-proof). Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until just cooked through.
Serve salmon on top of bed of lentils, garnished with fresh parsley.