In my opinion, dried beans are totally underrated in America. I rarely ate them growing up and cook them only when I remember to soak them overnight. However, lentils — one of my favorite types of beans — don't require overnight soaking. They're incredibly flavorful and filling, but they do need at least a half an hour on the stove, so set aside time to make this meal. Paired with flaky, melt in your mouth salmon, juicy beets, and an orange mustard sauce, these lentils make for a hearty, delectable Sunday dinner. For the recipe,
3 fresh small beets, (about 10 ounces), trimmed and scrubbed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 cup Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
1 clove garlic
2 fresh sprigs thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
4 six-ounce salmon fillets, skin on
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and stemmed
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- In a saucepan of cold water, bring the beets and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.
- Drain and cool. Peel beets, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces; set aside.
- Combine 1 cup water, lentils, stock, garlic, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.
- Drain; remove thyme stems and garlic. Add oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; toss, and keep warm. (If preparing in advance, warm over low heat before assembling dish).
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine coriander and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; rub over salmon flesh. Spray a cast-iron skillet with vegetable-oil spray, and place over medium heat. When heated, add salmon, flesh side down, and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn fillets, add shallots, and place skillet in oven. Cook about 4 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, place spinach in a metal steamer basket over boiling water; season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cover, and steam until just wilted.
- Remove and discard salmon skin; keep salmon warm.
- Place skillet over medium-high heat, and add wine, scraping pan with a wooden spoon. Reduce by half, and add orange juice, mustard, and remaining tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Add beets, and cook until heated through. Adjust seasoning, if desired.
- Arrange lentils and spinach on plates; place a salmon fillet on top. Spoon beets and sauce over, and serve.