Pan Fried Salmon and Tomato-Braised Lentils Stew

This is one of my favourite ways of cooking green lentils, the consistency is so soft and creamy, it’s almost like a risotto, just using lentil instead of rice. Occasionally when we have it as a main dish, served just with broccoli rabe, I would add splash of cream at the end of cooking, but on this occasion I opted out.

Pan-fried salmon and tomato-braised lentil stew



Serves 4

4 fillets of salmon

1/2 lemon (optional)

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups green French lentils
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 cups stock (chicken or vegetable), plus some extra if needed
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
Handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Sweat the onions over a low heat for about 8 minutes until translucent, add the celery, garlic and cook another minute. Add the lentils, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and a splash of the stock. Increase heat to medium and stir occasionally until stock has been absorbed. Continue adding stock and stirring occasionally until the lentils are just tender, about 30-35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the salmon.  Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the salmon skin-side down, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and squeeze over a little lemon juice. Fry for 2-3 minutes, then turn the salmon over and fry for a further 1-2 minutes, or until cooked through. Squeeze over a little more lemon juice and taste to check the seasoning. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Stir and check for taste the lentil stew. Stir in the basil leaves, then serve immediately with the salmon on top.

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