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Salmon with Spiced Lentils

Today's recipe calls for Puy lentils (lentilles vertes du Puy), which are named after their place of origin: Le Puy in Auvergne, France.

Puy lentils offer a delicate taste and are recognized by their fine slate-green skin marbled with blue speckles. They're excellent in salads and vegetable dishes, and while they take a bit longer to cook compared with brown lentils, they retain their shape and firmness better.

If you can't find Puy lentils, use French green lentils, which also cook up firm.

Colorful beans and lentils are high in antioxidants, and all beans and lentils are rich in resistant starch, which stabilizes blood sugar levels for many hours after being consumed.

Broiled/Grilled Salmon with Spiced Lentils
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Autumn, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).

Serves 6

1 1/2 cups French green lentils
8 whole cloves
1 small yellow onion
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (fresh or canned)
1 1/2 cups bottled clam juice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground organic cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground organic ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground organic turmeric
3/4 teaspoon organic paprika
1/4 teaspoon organic cayenne pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and organic ground pepper, to taste
6 (6oz) skinless salmon fillets
Lemon wedges

  • Pick over the lentils and discard any stones. Rinse well and place in a large saucepan. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Stick the cloves into the yellow onion and add to the saucepan along with the bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, 15‒20 minutes. Drain and discard the onion and bay leaves. Set the lentils aside.

  • In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the red onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, clam juice, cumin, ginger, turmeric, paprika and cayenne and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the parsley, cilantro and lentils and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are hot, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

  • Preheat the broiler or grill. Brush the salmon with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and place on the pan. Cook until golden and crisp underneath, 4‒5 minutes. Turn over the salmon, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until golden underneath and opaque throughout, 3‒4 minutes more.

  • OR, prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill. Brush the salmon with oil as directed and grill until golden and opaque throughout, 4‒5 minutes per side.

  • To serve, spoon the warm lentils onto a warmed serving platter. Place the salmon fillets in the center and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

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