baked salmon & lentils
One of my favorite places in my neighborhood market is this fantastic Middle Eastern market, always overflowing with fresh pita bread and naan, endless $1 spices by the scoop, and all of the nuts, grains, and everything Middle Eastern you could dream of. But more than anything, I love the great guys who run the place. And now that I live across the street, we get to see each other wonderfully often.
So yesterday when I walked over to pick up a few scoops of lentils, they of course asked what was on the menu. As soon as I mentioned “salmon”, their elderly mother who was sitting behind the counter immediately started talking a million miles an hour in her native language. Her son translated, “She says you must cook salmon and lentils this way — cumin, coriander, cilantro, salt, pepper and a nice bit of lemon juice. It is the best way. You will love it.”
So I scrapped my plans and decided to give her version of baked salmon and lentils a try. Sure enough, this sweet lady was right — this was delightful! I used the spices and some red onions to season the lentils, and ended up just cooking the baked salmon plain with some salt and pepper. And while I often find myself guilty of packing in too many extra spices, I actually loved how simple and mild this dish was. One of my friends who was iffy about salmon even gave the recipe a thumbs up when we shared it for dinner tonight. Success!
Definitely one of my new favorite baked salmon recipes. Look forward to making it again soon!
Baked Salmon & Lentils
- 1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
- 2 salmon filets
- half a red onion, diced
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 lemon, quartered
Preheat broiler. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then mist with oil or cooking spray.
Place salmon filets on the baking sheet, and brush each with about 1 teaspoon of the oil. Season liberally with salt and black pepper. Broil for 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through. (Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your salmon.)
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced red onion and saute for 2 minutes until partially cooked. Add the lentils, cumin, coriander, black pepper and salt, and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the lentils are heated through. Remove from heat and stir in fresh cilantro.
Serve lentils topped with the fresh salmon, sprinkled with the juice from the lemons to taste.