Crisp Atlantic Salmon on Lentils with Moroccan Spiced Tomato Sauce with Harissa, Served with Tzatziki and Grilled Nan Bread

6 main course servings
  • Begin the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cups shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes (or 6 plum), chopped
  • Prepare the Spice Mix:
  • 1/2 cup coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup cumin seed
  • 1/2 cup fennel seed
  • 2 tablespoons cloves
  • 1/4 cup cardamom
  • Make the lentils:
  • 5 cups blanched lentils
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cook the salmon:
  • Six 7-ounce skin-on boneless fillets
  • Salt
  • Spice blend for seasoning
  • Butter (1/2 teaspoon per fillet) and olive oil for sauteing
  • Prepare the nan bread:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • 6 pieces nan bread (or other Mediterranean flat bread)
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

  • Pre-heat grill.

  • Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat, add the shallots and garlic, and season. Saute until the vegetables are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the harissa and stir. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 4 tablespoons of the spice blend, or to taste.

  • Toast the above in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for five minutes (or on the stove over medium heat). Grind the mixture in a spice or coffee grinder.

  • Coat the salmon.

  • Finish the Sauce:

  • Working in batches, puree the mixture in a food processor, until the liquid is smooth. Set aside until ready to use. Makes enough for at least twelve fillets.

  • Heat saute pan, add stock and lentils and simmer until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in butter, season and serve.

  • Bring two saute pans to high heat, add the olive oil, and when hot, add salmon fillets, skin-side down (do not crowd pan). Shake pans to be sure the fillets are not sticking. Add the butter little bits at a time, shaking the pan to incorporate the butter into the oil. Place pan in oven for 4-5 minutes to roast.

  • Make the tzatziki: 32 ounces yogurt 2 English cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced 4 cloves of garlic, minced 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste

  • Place yogurt in cheese cloth, tie the end closed with kitchen string and hang it on a rack, above a bowl, in the refrigerator. Allow to drain for two hours or overnight. Discard the liquid in the bowl, and blend the yogurt with the remaining ingredients.

  • Combine oil, garlic and salt. Using a pastry brush, coat the bread lightly with the oil and place on grill. Cook to mark bread, turn to mark other side and serve.

  • To serve:

  • Mound lentils in center of plate. Place salmon fillet on top, skin side up. Surround with sauce. Present with side dishes of tzatziki and nan bread.

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