I don’t have the usual problem of this time of year: finding ways to use leftover turkey. My brother cooked our family’s Christmas dinner and no turkey came home with me! However, I did have a good amount of lentils left over from yesterday’s new year’s eve meal of Lentils & Sausages. And as I didn’t want sausages again tonight, I decided to have salmon instead. I had a nice piece of organic salmon from Sandy’s Fishmongers in Twickenham in my freezer, so it came out earlier in the day to defrost ready for the evening. The idea wasn’t out of the blue and I can’t claim it as mine. I used to cook a similar recipe from Jamie Oliver’s The Return of the Naked Chef quite regularly. But as with many favourite recipes, they slip out of fashion and where once you cooked them a lot there is then a hiatus of a few years before you find yourself remembering and cooking them again.
Leftovers are a constant challenge for the single gourmet who likes to eat well every day. For not every meal conveniently divides into a single portion and one doesn’t want to repeat the same meal too often over two or three nights. The lentils provided a good way to branch off into something very different: from sausages to salmon. It was however an almost instant meal. The lentils just required a bit of heating: I loosened them up with a small amount of boiling water and heated through.
The salmon was seasoned simply with salt, pepper; some olive oil smeared across it and a nice knob of butter laid on top. Then it was put into a hot – 200C/180 Fan – oven for 12-15 minutes (depending on the size of your piece of salmon and whether you like it pink and still slightly undercooked in the middle as I do, or cooked through).
I spooned a little yogurt into a bowl and seasoned with salt and pepper and loosened it with just a little cold water.
Really, the preparation was almost non-existent. Once the salmon was cooked, I spooned some of the heated lentils into a bowl, laid the salmon on top, and dressed it with some of the seasoned yogurt. I sprinkled over some chopped flat leaf parsley – partly to make it look prettier but only because it was also nice to eat with the dish. I served it with a green salad of organic rocket, spinach leaves and watercress, dressed in my usual, straight into the bowl way (click here for more on dressing a salad).
It was all so simple but really, really good. The salmon goes so well with the lentils and the addition of the yogurt dressing – from Jamie’s original recipe – makes a great addition. And it’s so good, you don’t have to wait until you have leftover lentils – prepare some specially for this dish! (Click here for yesterday recipe on how to cook the lentils.)