- 8 ounces French green lentils
- 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 6 (6-ounce) center cut salmon fillets, with skin
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
- 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
In a medium saucepan combine the lentils, garlic cloves, bay leaves, and thyme sprig and add enough water to cover by 1-inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook just until tender yet still firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Discard the garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Set lentils aside.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Rub the salmon fillets on all sides with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season on all sides with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper. Sprinkle the tops of each salmon fillet lightly with the Essence. Coat the bottom of a nonstick baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil and add the salmon fillets, skin side down. Transfer the salmon to the oven and roast until medium, 8 to 10 minutes.
While the salmon is cooking, heat the remaining olive oil in a medium-large skillet over high heat and, when hot, add the onion, carrot and celery and saute until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, thyme, lentils, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are warmed through, tender, and flavorful and liquid has reduced slightly, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside and keep warm until the salmon finishes cooking.
Divide the lentils evenly among the centers of each of 6 dinner plates, and top each bed of lentils with a salmon fillet. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and chives to garnish and drizzle each serving with a teaspoon of the extra-virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch
Published by William and Morrow, 1993.