Friday, March 15, 2013

Salmon over Warm Lentils with Crispy Pancetta

Salmon over warm lentils with crispy pancetta

I have mentioned before that I want to like lentils.  They seem simultaneously earthy and elegant to me.  I imagine a peasant sitting at a worn old wooden table, pulled close to a fire for warmth, scooping lentils into his mouth, while sopping up the broth with a big old chunk of country bread.  I also imagine a very sophisticated and chic Parisian with her delicate plate of lentils and a glass of wine at an outdoor cafĂ©.  This salmon over warm lentils with crispy pancetta from Sara Foster Fresh Every Day: More Great Recipes from Foster's Market definitely falls in the later category.  This is such a subtle and sophisticated dish.

Let me begin by saying that the original title of this recipe is “Braised Salmon Fillets with Tarragon and White Wine over Warm Lentils with Crispy Pancetta.  Unfortunately the braising called for apple cider and the juice of a tangerine or orange, which I didn’t have.  Plus you were supposed to marinate the salmon for one hour to overnight and then you cooked the salmon and finally reduced the sauce.

So, instead, I decided to keep the tarragon flavor and make a compound butter.  To one stick of softened room temperature butter, I added about 2 tablespoons of chopped tarragon that I had stored away in my freezer at the end of summer last year.  I would use a pat of this on a simple broiled salmon.  Perfect.

Tarragon Compound Butter

This whole dish was amazing.  So good.  It was earthy and elegant, everything I wanted my lentils to be!

Below is the recipe for the lentils.  At the very end of cooking the lentils, I sprayed a little olive oil on my salmon filets and salt and peppered them.  I placed them under a broiler on a file lined baking sheet, for about 6 minutes (I start checking at 4).  When they were finished cooking, I topped them with a pat of the compound butter which melted delightfully over the salmon adding a buttery tarragon goodness.  Make this. 

Warm Lentils with Crispy Pancetta

  • 3 1/4 inch slices pancetta or 3 strips bacon chopped
  • 2 shallots minced
  • 1 cup French green lentils or brown lentils
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the chopped pancetta in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain with a slotted spoon, leaving the grease in the skillet.

Add the minced shallots to the skillet and saute for about 2 minutes.  Add the lentils, rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3 cups of water and bring just to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for about 35 minutes, until the lentils are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add the pancetta and season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine.  Serve warm.

Serves 4 to 6

 

 

This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!

15 comments:

Joanne said...

I love how this is somehow both simple AND chic!

Amy said...

Have you made her salmon with the mustard lentils? I posted it years ago, here http://veryculinary.com/2009/03/08/broiled-salmon-with-mustard-lentils/ (You can deleted the link, if you want...I just want you to see it.) So good. I actually forgot all about it until just now. I need to make this one, too.

lostpastremembered said...

This is one of my favorite combinations, salmon and lentils. I add red wine to the lentils but now must try the tarragon butter on my salmon... delicious idea (and I have some in the fridge now!)>

Kevin said...

I love using lentils in dishes like this! So nice and simple and yet so so good!

Bonnie said...

I love lentils and cook with them a lot. I also eat them under salmon but I have never added tarragon, one of my favorite herbs to grow. Thanks for the recipe. It sounds delicious.

Mary said...

What a lovely combination of ingredients. This sounds truly delicious and your recipe will make a wonderful addition to my Lenten recipe collection. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Kim said...

This is a feast for the eyes! So pretty.

Melynda and Terry, we are the Browns! said...

Love the presentation! I have never served lentils with fish, much less my favorite salmon, but it is so lovely I really must try this. I know my better half would really enjoy this, thanks.

Roz cP said...

Mmmmm this salmon with lentils AND PANCETTA sounds outstanding! Great for a Friday in Lent too! Hope you're doing well Pam!

Marjie said...

Simple, filling and delicious. What's not to love?

darlin said...

Pam now I want to try lentils too. This looks absolutely amazingly delicious!

Couscous & Consciousness said...

I will totally make this. I love salmon and I love lentils. I also happen to love tarragon and butter. I think all of those things together must be heaven on a plate.

a good yarn said...

I tried those weeny lentils for the first time last week - with roasted pumpkin, rocket and a honey mustard dressing. They were surprisingly delicious. Your recipe will definitely get a run here.

Chris said...

I think this would actually get Trevor to eat lentils since he love salmon.

grace said...

i've come to the conclusion that i'm extremely anti-tarragon, but i could always make the compound butter with a different herb. the lentils sound great!