Ask your fishmonger for a center-cut fillet of salmon, which generally is the same thickness throughout, so it is easier to cook evenly. Most importantly when cooking salmon, take care to not overcook the fish, and remember that it will continue to cook from residual heat once you pull it out of the oven. Salmon is best served when still pink at the center.
Seared Salmon and Lentils with Arugula
- 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) brown lentils
- 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbs. minced shallots
- 1 1/2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) plus 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) center-cut wild salmon fillet, pin bones and skin removed, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
- 6 cups (6 oz./185 g) loosely packed baby arugula leaves
- Lemon wedges for serving
1. In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the lentils and 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) water. Bring the contents to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, shallots, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour in 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the olive oil slowly, whisking until well blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
3. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. In a fry pan over high heat, warm the remaining 2 tsp. olive oil. Add the salmon and cook, turning once, until light pink throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and let cool for 5 minutes. You can leave the salmon pieces intact or flake them into big 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) chunks.
4. In another bowl, combine the arugula and lentils. Pour in three-fourths of the dressing and toss to coat all the ingredients well.
5. To assemble, mound the arugula and lentils on a platter and arrange the salmon on top. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salmon and serve immediately with the lemon wedges alongside. Serves 4.
Find ways to make hectic suppers into fun, relaxed gatherings that
the whole family can enjoy in our cookbook School Night, by Kate McMillan.