This week our Flavors ingredient was lentils. I love lentils and fix them quite often. They're healthy, filling, and I love that I don't have to soak them overnight and they cook quickly.
When looking at the complimentary ingredents I saw salmon listed. I often serve salmon along with lentils, but this time decided to make a lentil salad that could be served at room temperature (or cold) and topped with salmon. I was originally planning on using a jar of salmon (we can salmon every year) but instead I thawed out a fillet and cooked it on the grill.
I really enjoyed this salad. The sherry vinegar and dijon mustard gave the right tang to the dressing. Then you have the bite of the shallots and green onions. Be sure and add the toasted walnuts, and the earthiness and crunch added a lot to this salad.
Lentil, Walnut & Salmon Salad
2 1/2 cup dried lentils
3 carrots, peeled & quartered
1 onion, peeled & sliced in half
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth (I used half chicken broth and half water)
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
2 shallots, peeled
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup oil-walnut, hazelnut, or olive oil (I used half hazelnut and half olive oil)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely choppe
Salmon-can use 1 fillet or 1 can (I used one fillet)
1. Rinse lentils. Place in a large pot and add the carrots, onion, chicken broth and water, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until lentils are tender but still firm (about 25 minutes).
2. Combine the vinegar, shallot, and mustard in a food processor. Then slowly add the oil until emulsified. Set aside.
3. Drain lentils and discard the carrots, onion and bay leaf. Pour into a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the hot lentils and toss to mix. (I used the entire amount of dressing, but you could use less.). Season with salt and pepper. Let cool.
4. If using salmon fillet, rub with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on a sheet of foil. Place on a med-low grill and cook with lid closed, until salmon is just barely cooked through. If using canned salmon, drain.
5. When ready to serve, add the green onions and walnuts to the salad and toss. Top with salmon.