Late again for French Fridays with Dorie, as it's already Saturday night here as I'm typing up this post. The comforting thing though is, my fellow Doristas and other readers are so forgiving and I sure am not the first one (nor the last!) to be late in the history of FFWD. One of the reasons for this was that I'd spent a good part of the week scouring local stores to procure lentils du puy, or French green lentils, a key ingredient in this week's Roasted Salmon and Lentils recipe. Then Friday came...and went...and still no green lentils.
So this morning, I went out one last time to a speciality food store that stocks those difficult-to-get ingredients at the regular stores and.... nope, they didn't have the green lentils either. Normally, I would've settled for the more common (over here) red, yellow or black lentils, but I've read reviews swearing over the utter loveliness of these green lentils so I persisted in looking for them. Just as I was about to throw in the towel, I spotted a packet on the shelf printed with "Mélange Pour Soupe - Aux Légumes", a vegetable mix for making soup that consisted of lentils, split peas, barley and alphabet pasta bits made from wheat flour, spinach and tomato. Okay, there had to be a few lentils du puy in there....it would have to do!
Apart from the repeated boiling and straining steps involved in cooking the beans, the overall effort required to put this dish together was surprisingly minimal. I even managed to bake a set of muffins for my participation in Muffin Monday while this was on the stove. That was how easy it was!
I'm also quite used to throwing in a pinch of whole cloves when I cook my local dishes, so the one clove required in this recipe seemed to me rather piddly. In the spirit of compromise, I used three :). That still didn't have that much impact to the overall flavor of the dish that I was glad I hadn't stuck just one clove into the onion. Before the last boiling phase, I chopped up the softened onion but decided to leave the carrots in large chunks as they were. Yes, I can be inconsistent like that.... besides I was already thinking about the aesthetics of the presentation at that point. So annoying!
The seasoning for the salmon was very simple and in my mind's palate, bland. To make the fish portion a bit more interesting, I sprinkled paprika over it just before it went in for roasting and that worked to enhance the dish. Lastly, I snipped chives over the plate and drizzled olive oil over the salmon and lentils. Truffle oil? Oh, how I wish.
This was a very hearty meal, especially since my base was also made up of not just lentils but barley, peas and pasta bits. Everyone at home loved it. Lentils du puy or not, I know this recipe willl be revisited again...soon.
If you're interested in this recipe of joining our FFWD online cooking group, pick up a copy of Around My French Table and you're all set for an amazing sharing experience every week. If you still don't believe me, click here to check out what everyone else who cooked this dish had to say about it.
Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone!