Salmon – the most versatile fish ever?

Salmon is the fish that everyone cannot not like, partly because it’s everywhere – especially in the UK, but also because it’s so versatile and delicious. And it’s a great source of Omega 3 – a healthy fatty acid that our body simply cannot produce on its own. So it’s really important that we get this Omega 3 from our food intake. I buy farmed Scottish salmon from Waitrose, and while I don’t think it tastes the same as the ones you get in Canada/Japan, it definitely is great quality fish and is full of Omega 3 still. (The white bits you see on top are actually Japanese prawn shells that have been treated and grounded. It’s called Chitosan.)
This is a great recipe that is full of flavour and is very healthy at the same time. It packs punches of flavour (salty, sour, salmony) and is just really great both as a health lunch/dinner dish. I will definitely be cooking this again soon. Thanks Diane Henry!

Salmon on lentils with herb relish
Serve 4
Cook time: approximately 40 minutes

Ingredients
For the lentils
2 tbsp olive oil
Half small onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, diced
1 small carrots, diced
150g Puy lentils (I used 180, which might have been too much for 2 portions but enough for 4)
2 thyme sprigs
275ml chicken stock or water
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil

For the herb relish
50g herb leaves (flat leaf parsley, basil, mint and chives)
1 and a half tbsp capers, rinsed
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
7 and a half tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the salmon
30g unsalted butter
1tbsp groundnut oil
4 x 175g salmon fillets

1. To make the lentils, heat the oil in a sauce pan and gently cook the onion, celery and carrot until softening. Stir in the lentils, thyme and stock. Season with pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 ā€“ 20 minutes. Watch carefully; the lentils can collapse very quickly.

2. Meanwhile, chop the herbs very finely and mix with the other relish ingredients.

3. Heat the butter and oil for the salmon in a large frying pan. Season the fish on both sides and cook over a medium heat, flesh down, for 1.5 ā€“ 2 minutes, until golden. Turn and cook for 1.5-2 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover and cook until done but still moist.

4. When the lentils are cooked, add the lemon juice and a good slug of extra virgin olive oil and taste for seasoning. Put some lentils on each plate and top with salmon and a good spoonful of relish.

Value for money?
Each portion costs about 5.60 pounds? The most expensive ingredient being the salmon, of course. It costs 3.79 from Waitrose per piece! Yikes.

Value for time?
It takes about 45 – 50 minutes to prepare + cook + clean up. The salmon itself takes less than 6 minutes to cook.

Value for effort?
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to make at all. I give it a 2 and a half star rating for effort, which, according to my chart, is:

** – couldn’t have been done and dusted with more ease

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