Thursday, March 1, 2012

Roasted Salmon & Lentils

If we learned anything from this week's recipe, it was to get our "A game" on when it comes to shopping for the French Friday ingredients......
Per Nana~

Unfortunately this recipe was off to a bad start when I could
 not find the French green lentils, known as lentils du Puy. 
 I was absolutely certain that Wegman's would carry them in
 their international section, but the best I could find were organic
 "green lentils" which looked exactly the same as the bag of Goya
 lentils but cost twice the price.  I have eaten lentils
du Puy before and they are much better tasting.

That said, cooking the lentils with the vegetables and clove were
 really not to my taste.  As a matter of fact, they were tasteless.  
I cooked them the required minutes and discarded
the black liquid as Dorie states in the recipe, but they turned to
 mush.  Hubby and I enjoy lentils, I cook them often, but we
 were not pleased with this recipe.
I baked the salmon as instructed and that was really delicious.  
The combination of lentils and salmon is nice, however, if I had the 
French lentils it would have turned out better.

Per Tricia~
I have had really good and really bad lentil dishes, so I was 
curious to see where this one would land.  And like mother, like daughter -
 I failed to get the requisite green lentils as well.  In Nana's defense, 
she did talk me out of buying the split peas which were located next to 
the standard lentils and looked oh so amazingly as though they would 
pass for green lentils.  When I called Nana from the "lentil aisle" she 
talked me out of this madness.
As I prepped the recipe I did find that it seemed to be a bit tedious
 in the number of steps, but that is usually directly related to how tired 
I am at the time and how close I am to the Dorie deadline.  But I will say 
that by the time I had to fish the cooked veggies OUT of the lentil broth
 to isolate them and chop them up.....I was beginning to wonder who 
thought up this whole process in the first place.
Other than the number of dirty kitchen items involved, the results 
were the next surprise.  I expected my husband to be quite impressed 
but he was disappointed in the lack of taste.  Surprised even.  He said he
 could not believe how bland the dish tasted after the wonderful aroma.
  Incredulous, he even added that with the amount of onion in the dish he 
at least expected to taste that ingredient.
On the other spectrum, my younger son who had announced as he saw
 the "Dorie ingredients" that he hated lentils...sat down and ate an entire plate.  
I didn't dare question him while eating for fear of distracting him. 
 But I did ask him if he would like me to make it again and he said definitely.
  Go figure. 
 I personally enjoyed the texture of the lentils with the salmon 
and would consider revisiting this one.  Especially since I have all this fresh 
parsley left over because I forgot to use it......


  1. LOL! I love that you tried to buy split peas instead! I do not like lentils and yet it sounds like if I could get my hands on the french kind, I might light this recipe?... Great photos as usual!

  2. Sorry to hear that you couldn't find Puy lentils, I agree that they really are the best. Like Tricia, I found the lentil preparation to be a bit tedious. I have made lentils many times before, but never par-boiled and then re-boiled them. I'm still curious as to exactly what the purpose behind that step was.

  3. I think this might be apolarizing recipe this week - love or hate. I was pleasantly surprised to find the lentilles de Puy in my local organic/ health food store - they are a much prettier colour than the regular green ones and you are right, taste better. Sorry you didn't like this one but hey, it's all about trying! I actually found the lentil prep to be super easy - I've never done them from scratch before and will be using this again.

  4. The right type of lentils definitely made a difference here.
    I have a very funny image of what that grocery store trip must have been like :-)
    My fussy eater liked the lentils too. Go figure.

  5. Same! I couldn't find lentils du Puy in time either. However, both your dishes look rather tasty!

  6. Both of your dishes look so good, but I am sorry you didn't enjoy this one. This was such a tasty dish for us. I found French green lentils at Whole Foods the last time we made lentils for one of the recipes and I do like them so much better than the brown ones I have gotten before at one of the grocery stores. Tricia - how funny that your son ate the whole plate of lentils! You just never know about kids, do you?! So glad he enjoyed them.

  7. I went to Whole Foods and bought their green lentils...they didn't specify that they were the French du Puy lentils though. I enjoyed them whatever they were! I found my salmon to be a bit bland...I would spice it up next time. Both of your dishes look wonderful! Sorry that it wasn't a winner for either of you, however it sounds like your son loved it!

    1. I used those same lentils - we all really loved them!

  8. Well, I was tired and the day was done long ago, so I made shortcuts and had very few dirty dishes and it all turned out great.

    I pre-minced the veges and cooked them with the lentils and kept them in the lentils...and the broth was soaked up by the lentils which cooked in only about 10 minutes...but I kept them on for 20 while the salmon grilled outside. (I think the lentils would have turned to mush at 30 minutes) I used pre-seasoned broth and with that and all the veges and salt and pepper it was flavorful. And with a flavorful tarter sauce and lots of fresh squeezed lemon juice and dill...well I used more flavors than Dorie suggests, but I find that I usually do. I have decided over the past year that French food is very bland for my tastes. I think we get used to lots of flavor here in AZ with all the spicy and flavorful Mexican foods and we enjoy lots of flavor. So I always plan to add more herbs and spices to ALL of Dorie's dishes. I used to follow Dorie's recipes as written just to have the experience, but now I use them as a creative starting point. is nice when kids like our healthy meals!

  9. Haha! I wonder how this would have turned out with peas. That's funny. That's great that your son enjoyed them! Wish mine did. I bought chives for mine, and forgot to use them, so you're not alone with your wayward herbs.

  10. Mixed review indeed! I squirrel away a nice box of lentil du Puy at home and have been waiting for the right occasion to use it (it is very pricy). For everyday lentils, I usually use the small green French lentils or black beluga which beautifully hold their shape and don't go mushy on me. From your description, it seems the extra steps are a bit tedious wihtout adding much value to the end product. Glad that at least one diner enjoyed the dish though!

  11. Tricia, I went the split pea route and unfortunately it wasn't a straight substitution. I don't know if lentils are creamier, but my "al dente" split peas were a nice contrast to the silky salmon. Nana, halfway through my cooking process I tasted the broth and threw in a fat sprig of thyme and a couple of peppercorns to the peas. I'm especially glad I did it!

  12. I'm planning on making the recipe tonight, and your posts made me a bit nervous. I'm not in the mood for a recipe with a lot of steps, especially if it's kind of bland in the end. I did manage to find the French lentils, so hopefully that'll help. Tricia, I'm glad your son enjoyed the dish!

  13. After scrutinizing several similar recipes and tweaking a bit, I was happy with my second attempt, especially with the lentil preparation and additional of bacon, which added quite a bit of flavor. Your salmon fillets look wonderful!

  14. Well, it's a new month and we aren't getting the cherry February reports. I am sorry you had such mixed results but I think the lentils can go South quite easily. As I said in my Post, I rubbed a lot of sea salt on my salmon, along with pepper and the flavor was wonderful. Did enjoy your Post and the parsley looks amazing. Mary

  15. It was a bit bland, I think what helped us was using Vegeta, it's a yugoslav vegetable stock that we put in pretty much everything and it has a heap of flavour. Anytime I see stock I just throw vegeta in! Your dishes look great though! And I've just realised I should find out what lentils du puy are!? I grabbed a bag off the shelf that looked green and said french lentils. But I have no idea if it was the right ones!!

  16. Hi, Nana and Tricia,
    I couldn't find french green lentils either. Sent Husband to several stores looking for them (he is my store runner when I am cooking and find I need one or more ingredients). Ended up using the Goya green lentils also. Thought about trying the red but the color would have been off. I cheated a bit in the steps where the veggies were concerned as I cut mine up and added them from the start. Also used a masher to 'cream' up the lentils. Forgot to use my immersion blender for that step.

  17. PS: Loved the whole fish look atop the lentils, and giggled over the forgotten parsley.

  18. Tricia you're lucky Nana stopped you for the split pea debacle! I've read other blogs that tried it and weren't pleased! I had the green French lentils so maybe that's why we loved it. Very flavorful and delicious!

  19. The right lentils probably would have made a huge difference in what you thought about the lentil part of the recipe. They keep their shape much better. Like Nana, I loved the roasted fish technique. It's a keeper.