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Roasted Salmon
with Warm Lentil Salad
Makes 4 Servings
*1 cup green lentils, preferably lentilles du Puy (small French lentils)
*1/2 tsp. kosher salt
*2 oz. pancetta (See Notes) or bacon, finely chopped
*1 small onion, finely chopped
*1 garlic clove, minced
*Four 6-oz. pieces center-cut salmon fillet, skin removed
*6 tbls. extra virgin olive oil
*2 tbls. fresh lemon juice
*Additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
*2 tbls. white wine vinegar
*2 tsp. Dijon mustard
*2 to 4 tbls. chicken stock, preferably homemade
*2 tbls. chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, tarragon, or basil
1Place the lentils in a large saucepan and pour in enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Add the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
2Meanwhile, cook the pancetta in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet and add the onion and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Arrange the salmon in one flat layer in a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until barely cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
4Drain the lentils well and return to the saucepan. Add the vinegar and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the pancetta, the cooked onion mixture, the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of the chicken stock. Stir well and add more stock if necessary to make a moist lentil mixture. Stir in the herbs at the last minute. Serve each portion of salmon with some of the lentil salad.
  • French lentils, lentilles du Puy, are tiny green lentils that cook in no time and have a wonderful texture and flavor. They are available at specialty food shops. You can use plain green lentils for this dish, although they might take a little longer to cook than the French kind.
  • Pancetta is Italian bacon, cured with salt and spices but not smoked; available at specialty food shops.

Recipes adapted from Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, Copyright (C)2002 by Sara Moulton, published by Broadway Books