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Thai Salmon Over Lentil Mash

As most great recipes originate, this recipe was innovated by necessity.  I intended to make honey mustard glazed salmon with vanilla balsamic lentils (recipe here), but when I opened my pantry, I found that I didn’t have green lentils–only red.  Knowing that the texture of red lentils is rather different than that of green lentils once cooked, I knew immediately that they wouldn’t taste great with the recipe I’d had in mind.  I had fresh ginger root on hand, so I decided I’d concoct a dinner using fresh ginger and red lentils.  I love the warm curry flavors with the spiciness of the fresh ginger, and the brightness of the fresh cilantro in this meal.  Both my husband and I were surprised by how delicious this dinner turned out to be, and how quick and easy it was to make!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Thai Salmon Over Lentil Mash
Yield:  4 servings
Time:  40 minutes total

For the Lentil Mash:
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large white onion, diced
2 shallots, diced
3 tbsp. fresh minced ginger
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. curry powder
3½ cups chicken stock
2 cups red lentils, sifted thru for stones and rinsed
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

For the Salmon:
Four 6-oz salmon filets
2 tsp. curry powder
1½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
1-2 tbsp. honey

  1. Preheat the oven to 390°F.
  2. Place the chicken stock in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir in the red lentils, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover.  Simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the stock has been absorbed and the lentils are tender.  (Red lentils tend to get mushy instead of holding their shape once cooked.  That’s our goal here, so don’t worry if it looks like baby food!)
  3. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, onion, shallots, fresh ginger, olive oil, salt, and 2 tsp. curry powder in a medium sauté pan.  Cook over medium heat until the onions are softened, about 8-10 minutes.  Set aside.
  4. Place the salmon in a lightly greased baking dish.  In a small mixing bowl, combine 2 tsp. curry powder, the ground ginger, salt, and pepper.  Mix to evenly distribute all of the spices.  Sprinkle over the salmon filets.  Lightly drizzle the salmon with honey.  Book at 390°F until cooked through, about 18 minutes.
  5. Once the lentils are ready, toss the onion mixture and the lentils together.  Fold in the chopped cilantro.
  6. Spread some of the mashed lentils on a plate, and top with the cooked salmon.  Enjoy!

Serving Suggestion:  I roasted asparagus to accompany this dish.  I ended up having extra minced fresh ginger, so I sprinkled that over the asparagus prior to roasting.  Yum!

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