Baked salmon, lentils, lemon and soft herbs

Salmon is a great fish to include in your diet, high in protein and packed full of omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for a healthy brain and body.

Not only is salmon easy to cook in a rush, but it tastes great.

This dish is massive on flavour, cooks in twenty minutes, and is great hot or cold. Why not make extra and have it for lunch the next day?

You will need:

A good sized Salmon fillet, roughly 200g

60g of green or Puy lentils

One small red onion

1 fresh lemon

Good handful of soft herbs, parsley, chervil, basil, rocket etc. leaves and soft stalks picked.

Good quality extra virgin olive/nut/rapeseed oil to dress

Groundnut or light olive oil for cooking.

Sea salt and fresh black pepper to grind

Method

Fill the kettle and put onto boil, turn the oven to 200c.

Place a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat.

Quickly rinse the lentils in cold water then place into a small saucepan. Cover with the boiling water, and allow to simmer. Cook until tender- around fifteen minutes.

Lightly oil the salmon and season with salt, place skin side down into the hot pan and sear for 1-2 minutes to crisp the skin.

Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the red onion and roll the picked herb leaves and soft stalks into a cigar shape and finely slice.

Place the salmon in an ovenproof dish, still skin side down, then straight into a hot oven. Cook for around 10-12 minutes, until the salmon feels firm but not dry, ideally without much white foam sitting on the surface, (this is the protein albumen, the same stuff as egg whites, and occurs on the surface when the salmon fibers contract and squeeze out the moisture-we want to avoid this!)

Drain the cooked lentils, and place into a bowl, grate the lemon zest (not the bitter white pith underneath) into the lentils, season well with salt and pepper, squeeze some lemon juice and a good glug of your chosen oil. Stir and allow the warm lentils to absorb the flavours.

Remove the salmon from the oven and allow to relax for a 2 minutes.

Taste! Check the seasoning of the lentils and adjust if necessary. Stir in the sliced onions and soft herbs.

You can flake the salmon into the lentils or serve it whole – it’s up to you!

Drizzle with a little more oil and enjoy with some dressed spinach or steamed broccoli.

If making this for lunch, its best to follow up to step 8, but then leave the salmon and lentils to cool before combining it all together with the herbs and onions. We want the lemon and oil to be absorbed by the warm lentils, but the heat will wilt the herbs and soften the onions. We want fresh vibrant herbs and crisp sharp onions to contrast with the soft rich salmon.

Enjoy!

#unleashthechef

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