Seared Salmon with Lentil Pilaf and Mint Yogurt Sauce

img_3478One of my favorite dinner pairings is salmon with lentils. Both are so versatile and play off each other so well. This dish came together one night when I stumbled across a bunch of lentils we had stashed in our pantry. It’s easy enough to pull off on a week night, yet could pass for a dinner party entree.  Plus, it’s a great dish to use up any extra veggies you have lying around. Cut them up into small pieces and sauté them before adding your lentils!

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Don’t like the taste of “fishy” fish? Cook salmon to medium-rare (130) and you’ll avoid an overly stinky meal.

Seared Salmon

Yields 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6-5 oz. portions salmon fillets, boneless and skinless
  • 3 tbsp. neutral oil (avocado, vegetable, or canola)
  • salt and pepper

Add oil to non-stick skillet on medium low heat. Season salmon with salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook salmon for 3-4 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 138°F.

Lentil Pilaf

Yields 6 servings

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup beluga or puy lentils
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • 1 carrot, cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (or vinegar of choice)
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of red chili flakes (optional)
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There are two kinds of lentils: ones that turn mushy when cooked, and ones that hold their shape. For this recipe, make sure to get the sturdy ones. Black beluga lentils (pictured above) and puy (French) lentils are perfect!

Add oil to saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onions, bell pepper, ginger, carrot, and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the garlic. After 1 minute, add the lentils and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Add vegetable stock, turning the heat to low, and cook (covered) for 20-25 minutes.

Mint Yogurt Sauce

Yields 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 10 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. honey

Mix all ingredients together.

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