Salmon with Braised French Lentils

Believe it or not this really a simple recipe that makes an amazing and healthy weeknight dinner recipe! You can save even more time when you make the marinade in advance. 


1- 1 1/2 lbs salmon (4-6 salmon fillets -skinless)

Salmon Marinade:

2–3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard (or Dijon mustard)

2 teaspoons lemon zest

3 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

fresh thyme sprigs for garnish

Braised French Lentils:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced ( or sub 1 large leek)

1 cup diced celery (or fennel bulb)

1 cup diced carrot ( or beet!)

3–4 garlic cloves, rough chopped

1 1/2 cups French Green Lentils (Le Puy, or small black lentils– beluga, caviar, etc. )

1/4 cup sherry wine, red wine, white wine, marsala wine (or skip it and add 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar at the end)

4 cups veggie or chicken stock ( or water and 1 bouillon cubes)

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon mustard- whole grain or dijon (optional)

4–5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)

2 bay leaves


Preheat heat oven to 325F. (Or see notes for grilling)

Marinate the Salmon: Pat the salmon dry. Make the marinade by combining all in a small bowl. Brush a little marinade on the bottom sides of salmon, place on parchment-lined sheet pan, then spoon the remaining over top, to form a thin layer. Set aside. When lentils are halfway through cooking, bake salmon in a 325 F oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness. (Or grill!)

Make the lentils: Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and carrots and stir 4-5 minutes, then turn the heat down to medium. Cook 4-5 more minutes and add the garlic and lentils. Cook 2 minutes stirring. Add the wine. Let this cook-off, about 2 minutes. Pour in the stock, salt, and mustard and stir until combined and bring to a good simmer. Add the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, cover and gently simmer on low heat  25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender. When the lentils are tender, uncover and cook off any extra liquid ( or feel free to drain). Remove the thyme sprigs, taste and adjust salt.  A tiny little splash of red wine vinegar livens them up.

Assemble: Place a cupful of lentils in a wide shallow pasta bowl, top with the salmon and veggie of your choice, and drizzle with a little olive oil, (or leek oil, gremolata!) top with a sprig of fresh thyme. Dig in!


Elevate this further when entertaining, with a drizzle of Leek oil, Gremolata– delicious here! Serve with Simple Sauteed Greens, or a roasted or steamed veggie like broccolini or Brussel sprouts.

To serve with a veggie- feel free to roast them in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Or for a quick fix, steam the veggie, right over the lentils for 5-6 minutes at the end.

Leftover Lentils can be frozen for later use, or refrigerated and made into a salad the next day- adding fresh veggies and a simple vinaigrette.  Or use for breakfast, warmed on toast, with Sauteed Greens, a poached egg and an herby green sauce like gremolata or Leek oil. YUM.

Download Recipe Here

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