Oh my – how I have missed you guys! I haven’t posted in a month!!! Work has left me circling the globe and little time for my food loving friends. But I was lucky enough to return from my travels abroad to find the last wonderful days of warmth before winter sets in. An unexpectedly mild day here in the eastern US gave me an opportunity to serve one last meal under my cozy pergola. What started as a quiet night in with my sweetie evolved into a group of friends enjoying the waning warmth of the season outside near the firepit. (Thank heavens I bought tons of extra salmon at the fish market!) This dish is great for company in that you can prepare the sun-dried tomato topping and the lentils in advance and just pop the salmon in the oven to be roasted at the very end. The wonderful sweetness of the sundried tomatoes against the creamy salmon makes me almost swoon and the lentils add a nice crunch and balance to this easy dish. I served a simple lemon vinaigrette-dressed romaine salad and a light red alongside. Buon appetito!!
Sundried Tomato Topped Roasted Salmon with Lentils
Sundried Tomato Sauce (adapted from Food and Wine, April 1997):
1/2 cup oil packed sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup dry red wine
3 garlic cloves, diced
2 small shallots, diced fine
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup of lentils
4 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup red wine
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1. Make the sundried tomato sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the sundried tomatoes, wine, diced garlic and shallots. Add 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from stove and let stand covered for about 20 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a mini food processor or use an immersion blender and puree. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream until combined. Scrape the sauce into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Make the lentils:
-In a heavy medium saucepan, bring lentils, water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer, uncover, until the lentils are tender – about 20 minutes. Drain lentils if there is additional cooking liquid.
-In another medium saucepan, saute the onion in the olive oil until softened about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and saute until combined with the onion. Add 1/2 cup of red wine and saute until absorbed. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
-Remove from heat. Keep covered and warm.
3. Roast the salmon
–Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
-Rub the salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with foil. Roast salmon, skin side down, in the upper portion of the oven just until cooked through – about 10-15 minutes.
4. Assemble dish
-Place lentils on plate to create a bed for the salmon.
-Lay roasted salmon on top.
-Spoon sundried tomato sauce on top.
-Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve – enjoy!