It’s been a great week.  After a traumatic 18 days, we finally got our Wondermutt back from the vet hospital on Tuesday.  She’s a great pup, but she loves to get into things she shouldn’t and chew them.  Which she did, to the detriment of her intestines – three surgeries kind of detriment, to be specific. 

But, now our girl is home and, as I write this, it’s Saturday night and I’m staying in, keeping an eye on her, while the mister is out with a former work colleague.  So, we’ve had a girly night, talking about boys, doing our nails and listening to Ke$ha.  Okay, not really.  But she did hang out with me in the kitchen while I made chutney and then dinner.  She always adds that extra degree of difficulty when I’m cooking because she likes to lie at my feet, particularly when I’m at the stove.  We usually have a nice chat while I tell her what I’m working on and she hopes that I drop something for her to nibble. 

Anyway, since I knew tonight was going to be a “no boys allowed” evening, I decided to make something that we both like that the mister doesn’t – salmon.  And, since the weather is turning colder, I looked for a recipe that will use the leeks I found at the farm stand and found this gem on Epicurious, tweaked only slightly.

Salmon with Lentils and Leeks

  • 1 cup Puy lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 3 leeks, chopped into 1/2″ discs
  • 2 oz butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp chives, chopped
  • 1 tsp tarragon, chopped
  • 2 tsp grain mustard
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 salmon steaks

Start by making the lentils, putting them in a medium pot with the water and a good pinch of salt and pepper.  Bring it to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or so while you cook the leeks.  In a large pan over medium-low heat, drizzle the olive oil, then add the leeks and cook covered until softened.  While the lentils and leeks are cooking, make your herb butter by mixing together the butter, chives, tarragon, mustard and the juice of a lemon until smooth.  Drain the lentils, reserving about a 1/2 cup of the liquid.  Add the liquid, lentils and about half the butter mixture to the leeks, mix and cover, keeping warm on a low flame while you cook the salmon.  So, for the salmon, just heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil before placing the salmon skin-side down in the pan.  Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook 5 minutes on either side.  To serve, make a bed of the lentil and leek mixture, then top with a salmon steak, a dollop of the herb butter and a squeeze of lemon all over.  Good and good for you (well, mostly).