Pan Seared Salmon and Lentils

Hey you guys.  Happy Saturday!!  We’re almost into February, which I have deemed the beginning of Spring.  If only because here, the sun will finally rise before 8am and set after 6pm.  I’m calling it a win.

In the meantime, I’m pretty new to lentils.  I love them now,  but it didn’t always used to be that way {sidenote: is that a sentence?  I’ve been here long enough that my English is going}.  Last year I tried them for the first time, and while I don’t eat them every day, they do make a nutritious meal or hearty side dish.  Lots of protein and fiber and iron.

I’ve made them before with salmon, but tonight I decided to pan-fry the lentils, like risotto, instead of boiling them.  It’s my favorite way to cook rice now, and I thought it could work for lentils too.  The salmon I cooked the way I usually do, in a frying pan skin side down with a little olive oil.  Super easy.

Pan Seared Salmon and Lentils:


  • Uncooked salmon filet.  {Probably 6-8 ounces per person.  I’m still getting used to the metric system, which is why my piece was so big.}
  • 1/2 cup dry uncooked lentils {Check your lentils – some you have to pre-soak, some you don’t.  I didn’t have to soak.}
  • 1/2 head garlic, peeled and chopped {I like garlic.  If you don’t that’s okay too}.
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste {If you buy it in a tube instead of a can, you’ll make your life so much easier}.
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pre-washed arugula or other lettuce mix.


  • Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add butter, 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, and mushrooms.  Sautee until soft and brown.
  • Add tomato paste and garlic.  Stir and let cook until fragrant, but don’t burn the garlic.
  • Add lentils and stir.  After about a minute or two, when lentils are brown and nutty, add 2 cups water.  {You could also use vegetable broth or chicken broth.}  Be careful because steam will likely rise up from the hot pan.
  • Cook lentils uncovered for about 30-40 minutes, adding more water as necessary, until they are tender.
  • While the lentils are finishing up, cook your salmon.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add 1/2 Tbsp olive oil.
  • Lay salmon in the pan, skin side down, and sear for 2-3 minutes.
  • Reduce heat and cover pan so it doesn’t splatter everywhere.
  • Cook until salmon flakes easily {Mine was 10-15 minutes, but I also had a giant 12 oz piece.  Watch your particular salmon so you don’t overcook it.}
  • Plate salmon over the arugula and add lentils on the side.
  • Enjoy!!
IMG_2335Jan 24, 2015

mushrooms and garlic sauteing with tomato paste

IMG_2336Jan 24, 2015

dry lentils added

IMG_2337Jan 24, 2015

brown and nutty

IMG_2340Jan 23, 2015

lentil close-up

IMG_2342Jan 24, 2015

Gorgeous salmon close-up. My favorite thing about Palma might actually be the fish market.

IMG_2343Jan 23, 2015

lentils and salmon, side by side.

IMG_2347Jan 24, 2015

plated and gorgeous!

What’s your favorite way to have salmon and lentils??  How do you cook your lentils?


4 thoughts on “Pan Seared Salmon and Lentils

  1. Pingback: Salmon Melt with Cheddar Cheese on a Homemade Bagel | sophisticatedjerseygirl

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