French Fridays with Dorie – Roasted Salmon with Lentils

I can honestly say that I never would have made this recipe if I wasn’t in this group. It’s not that I don’t like salmon. Of course I like salmon. But for some reason, I am very nervous about cooking fish at home. My dad makes beautiful fish. Beautiful! I love when he cooks fish and seafood, yet I am weirdly afraid to do it. But my dad gave me some salmon for Christmas and I happened to have everything on hand for this except the lentils so I thought I should probably give it a try. I mean my dad caught this salmon while he was in my favorite place in the world, so I couldn’t fail, right? Oh, my favorite place is Washington Island, WI. Just so we’re clear.

If you’ve never been, Washington Island is great. I love it. It’s my dream to own a little place there someday. My dad was born and raised there and I always say that I’m related to about half the people who live there. This might be a stretch, but not a big one. I went there every summer growing up and when I was old enough to have a job, I stayed there the whole summer and worked at my Aunt Lois and Uncle Tim’s bar. That’s actually where I met my husband. So you can probably see why I love it. In case you’re still not convinced of it’s awesomeness (but seriously, my dad being born there and me meeting my husband there aren’t enough? Come on!) here is a picture of one of my most favorite places there. Tell me it’s not gorgeous. I dare you.

I’m pretty disappointed in myself that I had to borrow this picture from a pro-WI travel website. I have taken some great photos of this place, but I think it was pre-digital camera days. Oh well, if you’ve never been, you should go. It’s the best. If you go, make sure to eat at Karly’s on Thursday nights because it’s family-style fried chicken and it’s the best. That is all.

Back to the recipe: I have never made lentils before. The lady at the health food store next to my job kind of scared me a little because she said I would have to soak them for hours or something, but I trusted in Dorie and guess what, she didn’t steer me wrong. I followed her directions exactly and my lentils were even done a little early. Take that health food store! The only thing I didn’t take her advice on 100% was celery. I didn’t have any and I don’t particularly like it and they don’t sell it at the health food store, so I left it out. I don’t think it really matters. Can anyone say they love celery? I mean, I have never once heard someone say they love it. I know it has a place in soup bases and all but really, I’m fine with a celery free existence. Here are the lentils a’cookin away:

The salmon really didn’t need any prep so it seems almost a waste to mention it – just some olive oil and salt and pepper and getting shoved into a hot oven for 12 minutes – but I think we should all appreciate these beautiful salmon fillets:

Actually raw meat is never really all that appealing, unless we’re talking sushi, but that’s a whole other post. I just feel pretty lucky that these were languishing in my freezer and I didn’t have to buy them. Thanks again Daddio!

So all in all, I’d say it was a very delicious (nutritious?) meal that I’m very glad I cooked. Thanks fellow Doristas for voting for it! I on the other hand, voted for all the desserts. Shocking. Oh and I think I was a little hard on these beige placemats in my last post. I’ve decided that I was just mad at the onions. Sorry beiges, I promise you’ll get your fair share of blog-time.

15 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie – Roasted Salmon with Lentils

  1. Looks great Maggie! Loved this post. We need to talk celery! It’s the third component in mirepoix. The celery, onion, and carrot create a flavor when combined together. I’ve skipped it too when we’re out, but it really does add a certain something. Kind of like nutmeg in sauces. Almost time for Rugelach!!!

    • Thanks Susan! I know, I know, I know celery is important, I just really didn’t want to go to the store. I love when you teach me new words though! Mirepoix! I could say it all day, it’s so pretty!

  2. So what have we learned here boys and girls… celery bad, bad, bad; biege okay as long as we aren’t mad at onions; Washinton Island is fabulous! Yup… pretty much sums it up! Give me a hollar next time you need celery… I’ve always got some lurking in the vegetable drawer. Bet the salmon was great.. and so good for you – as are the lentils. Good job Maggie!

  3. How wonderful, some of my very favorite Dorie recipes have been ones which I never would have picked on my own. Somehow those are the most rewarding.

    Oh, and I cook lentils regularly and have never pre-soaked them. Most beans need to be pre-soaked, but the reason most of us love lentils is exactly because they do NOT need this step and are thus much quicker.

  4. Very nice. Such pretty color on the salmon.
    I agree with you on how nice it is to have caught fish hanging around. We are still working through ~60 pounds of tuna from a fishing trip The Dude went on this summer.

  5. I also would not have made this recipe if not for the group, and I also omitted the celery. I see I’m in good company. Those are some beautiful pieces of salmon you’ve got there! Your happy place island sounds lovely.

  6. I’m guess I’m with everyone else who didn’t think this recipe would be good! I love lentils and salmon, I just didn’t think they would be good together…I was wrong! We really enjoyed this one! How nice to have fish in your freezer from your looks beautiful as does your dinner! Nice post!

  7. Maggie, First, I love celery. With peanut butter. With Maytag blue cheese. Solo. Please re-think celery. Are you every lucky to have some salmon caught by someone you love. Still liking the beige placemats but feel your pain. I am in a winter rental in California and have been stuck with some pretty ugly dishes – but, as long as they are clean, who cares. Loved your Post and for giving us a personal glimpse into your world.

  8. What a gorgeous place! I can totally understand your fondness for it.
    I have never ever liked celery either but I’ve started using it in cooking and it really hasn’t been bad (mainly cos I can’t taste it in the finished product!)
    And that’s what I love about this group too, that I try recipes that I would usually just skim over and never actually choose to make!

  9. I’m also a fan of celery with peanut butter! Sometimes I buy it just so I can make ants on a log. Your dish looks great. I love lentils! I’m on a red lentil kick right now b/c they cook down nice and soft for the baby bear.

  10. Love that you got some great salmon to make this one with! I bet you appreciated it that much more! šŸ™‚
    I have been looking at getting some more napkins and such so that I can start to set up my photos a bit more interestingly, but by the time I want to take the pictures, its time to eat, I’m hungry and I’m really interested in just taking the easiest picture that displays at least a little interest to my readers at a minimum. Something I have to work on…. LOL!

  11. Washington Island looks beautiful! I kind of like celery but can’t say I love it. I do love that it has next to no calories and tons of water so I can much on it all I want.

  12. How awesome to use dad-caught salmon in this recipe. You’re right, I don’t think anyone LOVES celery, though it does add a lot of subtle flavor to cooking. I never soak lentils either, not sure why the health food store lady told you it was necessary. Glad you had success with this recipe.

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