Warm Salmon and Lentil Salad with Herbes de Provence

Warm Salmon and Lentil Salad with Herbes de Provence

Author Notes: This main-dish salad is bright, fresh, and sunny, like a little postcard from Provence on a cold winter’s day. At its heart, the recipe is a riff on two geniu (…more) —EmilyC
Food52 Review: Throughout the cold-weather season, we rely on pantry ingredients like dried herbs and spice blends to transport our kitchens to a warmer place. That’s why w (…more) —The Editors
Serves 4
For the yogurt dressing
  • 2tablespoons minced shallots
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3tablespoons lemon juice, from 1 to 2 lemons
  • 1/2teaspoon herbes de Provence, such as The Spice Hunter’s Herbes de Provence Blend
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2cup plain yogurt (full-fat recommended)
  • 1/4cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the salad
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 2teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4teaspoon herbes de Provence, such as The Spice Hunter’s Herbes de Provence Blend
  • 1 1/2pounds salmon fillet, preferably center-cut
  • 1/2teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1bay leaf
  • 1tablespoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1/3cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2-3cups greens (baby arugula, spinach, mache, mizuna, or a mix)
  1. Make the yogurt dressing: In a small bowl or jar, combine the shallots, lemon zest, lemon juice, herbes de Provence, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let the shallots macerate in the acid for about 5 minutes to relax their pungency. Add the Dijon, yogurt, and extra-virgin olive oil, and whisk to combine (or put a lid on your jar and shake). Adjust seasoning and acidity, to taste. Dressing can be made in advance, and keeps well (tightly covered in the fridge) for one week.
  2. Heat oven to 275F.
  3. Make the Salmon rub: In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, Dijon, and herbes de Provence (listed under the salad ingredients) until well combined.
  4. Brush a baking dish generously with olive oil, or line with foil. Arrange the salmon skin side-down in the dish. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper evenly over the flesh, then using the back of a spoon or your hands, evenly apply the rub. Roast for 20 to 35 minutes (cook time will depend on the salmon’s thickness), or until the fish is just beginning to flake and the tip of a knife slides through the flesh easily. (An instant-read thermometer should read 120F in the thickest part for medium-rare.). Once cool, break the salmon into irregular pieces.
  5. Meanwhile, make the lentils: Place lentils and bay leaf in a saucepan and cover by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes (or according to package directions). Add additional water, if needed, to keep the lentils covered. Drain well in a colander, discarding the bay leaf. Return the lentils to the pan. Immediately fold in 2 tablespoons of the yogurt dressing, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and half the pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Let the lentils cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a large serving platter or bowl. Add the greens and about 1 tablespoon dressing, tossing well. Taste again, adding more salt, pepper, lemon juice, or dressing as needed, tasting and tinkering until you get the balance right.
  7. Top lentils with salmon and remaining pine nuts. Drizzle more dressing over the salad. Serve warm.

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