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Sear-Roasted Salmon with Leeks and Lentils

HOF / David LaPlaca (Lentils)

There are a number of recipes for salmon and lentils. We’ve been cooking salmon this way for years. For the lentils, we use a recipe from our friend David LaPlaca, and we pair it with sautéed leeks and sear-roasted salmon. 


For the lentils:

½ lb. lentils (the tiny dark green French ones are best, but any lentils work)

2 sprigs rosemary

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon tomato paste

a couple of tablespoons of goat cheese or créme fraîche, to taste (optional)


Soak lentils for an hour before cooking, if packaging recommends it. 


Mince garlic and chop rosemary. Add olive oil to a medium pot and sauté the garlic and rosemary about 1 minute. Add the lentils, broth, salt, pepper, and tomato paste, stir to combine. Cook until lentils are tender and the broth has been absorbed—about 20 minutes (you may need to add a bit more broth or water). Add salt and pepper to taste. (Optional: At this point, we generally stir in a bit of goat cheese or créme fraîche for added umami.)


For the leeks and salmon:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

2 small leeks, white and light green parts sliced thinly (and halved if needed)

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon canola

2 6-ounce salmon fillets

olive oil for the fish


While the lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil and butter in a large oven-proof skillet. Add the leeks, salt, and pepper and sauté about 10 minutes, until soft. Remove from pan.


Preheat oven to 425°. Season both sides of the salmon fillets with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Heat same pan over medium high. When it’s good and hot, add the canola oil and the salmon, skin-side up. Cook for about 2 minutes. Turn salmon over and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast about 8 to 10 minutes (depending on thickness) until salmon is barely done in the center.


Place lentils on plate, then top with salmon and sautéed leeks. Serve it forth!

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