Preparation time: 60 minutes
Lentils are a curious symbol to usher in the New Year. Tradition or rather superstition has it, that the more lentils you eat the more money you will earn. It is said that lentils resemble coins. They swell doubling in size when cooked.
New Year’s lentil soup or lentil stew is no doubt a time-honored dish handed down for generations in many families often times with little change. I am not very fond of keeping the same way of doing things. Add a different touch all of your own, that’s what I call keeping traditions alive.
This recipe combines the classic lentil stew with salmon and a warm creamy horseradish sauce on the side. An impressive way to add a different touch to a long-established tradition.
For the Lentils:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup (225 g) green lentils (aka Puy lentils)
- 1 medium size carrot, cut into small dices
- 1 medium size onion, cut into small dices
- 1 celery stalk, cut into small dices
- 1 leek, cut into small ribbons
- 3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock
- 1 cup (240 ml) red wine
- 1 Italian parsley twig
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
For the Salmon:
- 4 thick salmon fillets of about 6 ounces (180 g) each
- all-purpose flour for dusting
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped Italian parsley for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¾ cup (170 g) diced bacon for garnish
For the Horseradish Sauce:
- 1 cup (240 ml) sour cream
- 3 Tbsp prepared horseradish
To prepare the lentils, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, celery, and leek. Cook stirring now and then for 5 minutes. Add lentils and cook for 1 minute more. Add chicken stock, wine, parsley twig, thyme and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook lentils until they are soft, about 40 minutes. Discard parsley twig and bay leaf. Taste for salt and pepper. Set aside and keep it warm.
While the lentils are cooking, prepare the bacon. Add diced bacon to a saucepan and cook it until crisp. Remove bacon from the saucepan with a slotted spoon. Set bacon on paper towels to drain. Save about 2 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat. Set aside.
For the horseradish sauce mix sour cream with the prepared horseradish in a small saucepan. Keep it warm over low heat.
Salt and pepper the salmon fillets. Sprinkle fillets with just enough flour to create a light dust. Set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the saucepan with the saved bacon fat. Heat it up over medium-high heat. Saute salmon for 4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the filets or until they have a nice brown crust on top.
Arrange lentils on 4 heated plates and top it with the salmon filets. Sprinkle each filet with the crispy bacon and parsley. Spoon horseradish sauce on the side. Serve immediately.