- 4 strips bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 rib celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/4 cups lentils
- 2 1/4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
- 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 3/4 pounds skinless center-cut salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil, more if needed
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, cook the bacon until browned. Pour off and reserve all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 5 minutes.
Add the lentils, broth, tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, until the lentils are just tender, about 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and stir in 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper.
Heat the oven to 450°. Sprinkle the salmon with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. In a large ovenproof nonstick frying pan, over moderately high heat, heat the reserved bacon fat, with enough oil to measure 2 tablespoons. Add the fish, skinned-side up, and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Turn. Put the pan in the oven and continue cooking the salmon until just barely done (the fish should still be translucent in the center), about 3 minutes longer for a 1-inch-thick fillet. Put the lentils on plates and top with the salmon.
Wine Recommendation: Light, acidic red wines are delightful with salmon, and the lentils and bacon only make the case for red wine stronger. Try a bottle of pinot noir from Oregon or California.