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Pan-seared Salmon and French Lentil Ragout

August 6, 2009

I’ve been meaning to make this dish for a while because I love lentils and salmon, it’s so South Beach Diet and I have some leftover green

salmon and french lentils

salmon and french lentils

lentils kicking around from making this dish.  This would be a great make-ahead dinner because the lentils improved in flavor overnight, and you could just quickly assemble a salad of mixed greens and vinaigrette and sear the salmon while reheating the lentils.  There are a lot of recipes for lentil ragout out there, and mine came mostly from a Culinary Institute of America cookbook my friend Amanda gave me, with a few tweaks for ingredients and laziness.  Serves 4.


4 6 oz salmon fillets

2 T olive oil, plus more for searing salmon

1 clove garlic, minced

1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into small dice

1 stalk celery, cut into small dice

1 Roma tomato, cut into small dice

1/2 t dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 3″ piece of lemon peel

3 c chicken or vegetable broth

1 1/2 c dried green lentils, picked over and rinsed

salt and pepper to taste

Handful fresh chopped parsley

2 t red wine vinegar


Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic, celery, carrot, tomato and thyme and saute until vegetables are crisp tender and a film of brown glaze forms on the bottom of the pan, about 5-7 minutes.  Add bay leaf and lemon peel, and turn heat to high.  Immediately add broth and deglaze the pan (scrape up any bits on the bottom).  Add lentils and bring to a simmer.  Turn down heat, cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed.  Add more broth or water if the lentils become too dry during cooking.  Remove bay leaf and lemon peel, and stir in salt and pepper to taste.  Before serving, stir in parsley and red wine vinegar.

Meanwhile, salt and pepper the salmon fillets on both sides.  Heat a thin film of olive oil (about 1 1/2 T) in a skillet over high heat.  When pan is really hot, add the salmon skin side down and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Flip salmon and cook other side for 2-3 more minutes (depending on the thickness of the fillets).  Remove salmon from pan when it is medium rare because it will keep cooking on the plate.

Serve salmon with lentils on the side and greens dressed in vinaigrette.

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