french fridays with dorie: roasted salmon & lentils

This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie seemed old hat to me: Roasted Salmon and Lentils.  Salmon is one of my favorite kinds of fish, and lentils is my #1 favorite bean or legume.  I make both frequently, so I knew I would enjoy the menu.

My in-laws were in town, and I thought that my mother-in-law, a loyal follower of my blog, would enjoy sharing a Dorie meal.

The primary surprise for me was that even though this recipe seems like a old friend on paper, I learned something new about cooking both the salmon and the lentils.

When we prepare salmon, we typically grill it in summer, or broil it in winter. For Dorie’s version, a large salmon fillet (wild coho salmon, for me) was roasted in a very hot oven. I was a little skeptical because, I find that a large fillet is seldom done in the recommended 12 minutes when cooking under the broiler. What a revelation that roasting the salmon worked out to perfection. While we’ll still be grilling in the summer, roasting will be the new off-season cooking method chez moi.

As for the lentils, I have been in on the secret of the tiny green Le Puy lentils for years. I think I first discovered them in the bulk section at Whole Foods, but they hae been my lentil of choice for salads and sides for many years. Dorie’s method for cooking the lentils again seemed similar to mine on paper, but the actual execution taught me a few new tricks.

I normally just cut the aromatic vegetables into bite-sized pieces and cook them with the lentils, but by the time the lentils are tender, the vegetables dissolve into oblivion. Cooking large pieces of the vegetables with the lentils and then chopping them up afterwards worked out really well. Also, pureeing some of the lentils to thicken the lentil mixture added a nice creamy texture to the final dish.

I served the salmon over a bed of lentils with roasted broccoli alongside. My in-laws enjoyed the meal as much as we did. Chalk this one up in the “Definitely Repeat” column of the Dorie scoreboard.

If you’d like to see how other bloggers’ roasted salmon and lentils came out, check out their links at French Fridays with Dorie.

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Posted on 2 March 2012, in French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. How fun to be able to share this meal with your in-laws. Happy to hear that you enjoyed it. I have been eating Puy lentils for a while now as well. I think Nigella Lawson first introduced them to me, she has a fabulous lentil salad with goat cheese & walnuts that we make regularly in the summer.

  2. I actually didn’t mind pre-chopping the veggies, as I knew I would probably be preoccupied with other things to chop hot veggies. Your dish looks delicious!

  3. How nice to serve this meal to a loyal follower! We also enjoyed this dish…a surprise to me! Your last photo is lovely!

  4. Isn’t it fun when you get to share a ffwd meal with friends and family? So happy that you all enjoyed it do much. This was a first for cooking lentils for me, but they were delicious. And I agree about the salmon – nice way to cook it when you’re not preparing it on the grill!

    Great post!!

  5. I couldn’t get over how simple & tasty this was. And you even received the in-law seal of approval :-)
    I usually have to sneak lentils into dishes around my house, but this one was enjoyed by all (except for my one fish hater, who just had a bowl of lentils).

  6. I love cooking Dorie food for company, especially since most of my friends are also already on to my blogging schedule. Great tip about not dicing the veggies beforehand! I didn’t really “get it” until you described how the chopped vegetables melt into broth.

  7. Looks great! I think the half-pureed lentil creaminess is part of what set this lentil dish apart from others i’ve tried in the past.

  8. Yours looks so very tasty, Betsy. I was thinking that’s why Dorie had larger chunks of the vegetables in there because I noticed that the lentils were getting a little mushy and when I chopped mine (I didn’t dice) they were really soft. I can’t believe that I have never had this combination before. I really loved how easy the salmon was to cook and so tasty with just olive oil, salt and pepper. This is definitely a keep recipe. I have never grilled salmon, but will have to try that. Have a good weekend!

  9. I really enjoyed the “lesson” in cooking French lentils this recipe provided. Yours looks great, and I’m happy to hear everyone enjoyed it!

  10. Roasted broccoli sounds like a great side dish!
    I’m glad you put the pic of the lentils at the start, I found a bag that looked green and had “French lentils” written on the front so I just assumed they were the right ones, and now I actually know! Thanks!
    And your dish looks great!

  11. Doesn’t it feel like an epiphany when someone points out a way of doing something that just improves recipes you already have? I think it’s brilliant! : )

  12. Glad you and your family enjoyed this. We did too!

  13. You’re making me wish I had followed the instructions! I diced the vegetables beforehand like I always do, but it definitely would’ve been better if they hadn’t been so mushy.

  14. We had ours with broccoli, too. I love it when I think I know how something’s done, but someone else’s method comes along and broadens my perspective.

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