Salmon with French Lentils

Salmon with French Lentils Recipe

Today I’m sharing yet another fabulous French recipe from Ina Garten’s cookbook, Barefoot in Paris.  This one is a staple in our house.  It is easy, delicious and uses ingredients that are readily available.  And in case you didn’t know, salmon, with all its Omega-3 fatty acid is good for you.  And your brain.

Make sure to use those French green lentils. They hold their shape, have a nice mouth feel and are much better than the boring brown lentils that become mush if cooked too long.

I always make the full lentil recipe (it serves four), even if we are only two, just so I can use leftovers as the filling for stuffed red

peppers another night. Or soup.  Yes, they are THAT tasty!

I also like to add a big dollop of Dijon mustard to the lentils for some extra tangy flavor. And when I’m feeling more adventerous, I like to make a Dijon crusted salmon to carry the theme through. I’ve also left out the leeks when I didn’t have any on hand and it’s still comes out perfect, every time.

My point – this is such a versatile recipe, feel free to fool with it and make it your own.  Here is the basic recipe:


Salmon with French Lentils

1⁄2 pound French green lentils (Lentilles du Puy)
1⁄4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for salmon
2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 1⁄2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
1 1⁄2 cups chopped carrots (3 carrots)
1 1⁄2 cups good canned chicken stock (I use veggie stock to make it vegetarian friendly)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
4 (8-ounce) center-cut salmon fillets, skin removed

Place the lentils in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 15 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saute pan, add the onions, leeks, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. 

Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the drained lentils, celery, carrots, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add the vinegar and season, to taste.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

For the salmon, heat a dry oven-proof saute pan over high heat for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, rub both sides of the salmon fillets with olive oil and season the tops very liberally with salt and pepper. 

When the pan is very hot, place the salmon fillets seasoning-sides down in the pan and cook over medium heat without moving them for 2 minutes, until very browned.

Turn the fillets and place the pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until the salmon is cooked rare. Spoon a mound of lentils on each plate and place a salmon fillet on top. Serve hot.


Salmon with French Lentils Recipe


Bon Appetit!



  • User Gravatar
    Cherrye at My Bella Vita
    December 3rd, 2008

    OMG. Yum. Those pics are amazing, Robin.

  • User Gravatar
    December 3rd, 2008

    Gorgeous! I have to go and pull my cookbook out!

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    December 3rd, 2008

    You think the pics look good- you should taste it !!

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    December 3rd, 2008

    If you mean that you have Ina’s cookbook- then you better get crackin girl :)

  • User Gravatar
    December 4th, 2008

    I’m serving this for guests this week-end! Do you have a recommendation for a dessert that goes well with this dish? Thanks!

  • User Gravatar
    My Melange
    December 4th, 2008

    Well, if you want a realy French meal, you could do a claufotis, which is really easy-I have a recipe on my blog for it!! Cherries will be too hard to find now-so you could pick another fruit. If not, creme brulee is nice or how about an apple crisp or some fruit poached in wine.

  • User Gravatar
    September 13th, 2015

    Can’t wait to be transported to France with this recipe. Your pictures have tantalized my taste buds.

Who Linked To This Post?

  1. Seared Salmon over Warm Lentil Salad | EcoSalon

Leave A Comment Below

Name and email required. Your email will not be shared.

CommentLuv badge