Fennel-Scented Salmon atop a Lentil and Spinach Salad

By • March 6, 2014 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: French green lentils, spinach, and salmon--it sounds like the perfect French bistro-inspired meal, especially when served with a crusty baguette and something bubbly to drink. But it's healthy, too. I developed this recipe--which is rich in folate--for an article I wrote for Pregnancy & Newborn magazine about how to eat healthily during pregnancy, even when cravings threaten to derail sound nutrition. My recipe originally appeared in the magazine in 2012.Daytona Strong

Serves 2

  • 1/2 cup French green lentils, rinsed and debris removed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 wild Alaskan salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground fennel seed (or fennel pollen, if available)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 6 cornichons, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare lentil salad. Combine lentils, water, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, until lentils are tender. Drain and discard bay leaf. While lentils are cooking, make the dressing: Stir together sherry wine vinegar, mustard, and ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Gradually add 3 ½ tablespoons olive oil, whisking constantly, until emulsified. While lentils are still hot, add shallot, parsley, and ¾ of the dressing, and toss to combine. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  3. Cook salmon. Wipe salmon dry with a paper towel. Brush an ovenproof baking dish with a little of the remaining olive oil, and set salmon fillet inside, skin side down. Brush salmon with the remaining olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fennel seed. Bake until just cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  4. Assemble and serve. To serve, divide spinach between two plates. Top each with lentil salad and a fillet of salmon. Drizzle the remaining dressing on the spinach and garnish with the cornichons.
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