I know, as well as anyone, that salmon is ridiculously good for you. In fact, on my self help blog AND on my mental fitness blog I’ve extolled salmon’s virtues for years. This super-food is wonderful for your heart, excellent for your brain, and I’m sure one day they’ll discover that salmon fights the common cold and adds points to your IQ and pop to your personality.
The problem is, as much as I love all other seafood, salmon just doesn’t do it for me. The only way I seem to like it is when it comes to the meal in the form of salmon patties, and then I only like my own. I use crackers instead of bread crumbs, add green onions to the mixture, and I’m not the least bit stingy with lemon or pepper. These things make all the difference between firm and flavorful and squishy and disappointing.
I was recently sent a link to three salmon recipes, however, that actually sound tempting. I was told I could share them with the readers on the food blog, which I thought was very neighborly. I thought I’d be neighborly in return and share one, then link my readers to the other two. That way everyone’s a winner and we all have fresh, fun, exciting new ways to look at salmon.
The recipe below is for Salmon with Beluga Lentil Salad (it’s the beauty in the middle above – seriously, how delicious does that look?!). It sounds pretty spectacular, actually! You can find more salmon recipes by clicking the link!
Salmon with Beluga Lentil Salad
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grilling
2-1/2 cups beluga lentils (other lentils may be substituted)
5 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 large parsley sprig
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons salt, plus more, to taste
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/2 Moroccan preserved lemon, rinsed, seeded and minced
1/3 cup fresh basil, julienned
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
3 pounds salmon fillet, cut into 8 equal pieces, skin left on
2 tablespoons scallion greens, finely sliced
- Preheat grill or broiler.
- In a medium saucepan, saute 3 garlic cloves and shallot in 1 tablespoon oil. When garlic and shallot begin to color, add lentils, water, bay leaf, parsley sprig and thyme. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered, until lentils are tender but still firm, 15-20 minutes. Do not overcook: Lentils should remain a bit al dente. Add 2 teaspoons salt and remove from heat.
- While lentils are cooking, make dressing: Whisk remaining garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, preserved lemon, basil, mint and parsley. Set dressing aside.
- Drain lentils of any extra liquid, put them in a bowl and mix with dressing. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Use right away or set aside for up to 24 hours. If longer than 2 hours, refrigerate. Bring back to room temperature before serving.
- Cook salmon: Preheat an electric grill or broiler, or prepare a charcoal fire in an outdoor barbecue. Rub salmon pieces with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place salmon pieces on grill, skin side down. Cook 5 minutes. Slide a spatula between skin and fish and turn each piece of salmon over, resting it on its detached skin. This protects tender salmon from direct contact with hot grill. Cook until desired doneness is reached, 2-5 minutes. If broiling, broil on one side only until done, 5-8 minutes.
- Serve hot or at room temperature. Salmon may be cooked up to 24 hours ahead. If cooked more than 2 hours in advance, cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- To serve, divide lentil salad among 8 dinner plates. Arrange salmon over lentils and garnish with sliced scallions.
Yield: Serves 8