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Seared Salmon Fillets with Puy Lentil Salsa

This is a wonderful way to cook salmon: easy and quick, giving a golden crusted outside whilst staying beautifully moist within. The lentil salsa is best made a few hours ahead to give all the flavours a chance to develop.


This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (Guide to Fish Cookery)


First make the salsa: strip the leaves off the coriander stalks and reserve them for later.

Then tie the stalks together with a small piece of string, pop them into a medium saucepan along with the lentils and add 8 fl oz (225 ml) water but no salt at this stage.

Bring everything up to a gentle simmer and simmer, covered, for 30-35 minutes or until the lentils are tender but still have some bite and retain their shape. The water will then have been absorbed.

While the lentils are cooking, skin the tomatoes by pouring boiling water on to them. After 1 minute remove them and slip the skins off, then halve and squeeze out the seeds.

Chop the flesh into small pieces. After that chop the onion, chilli and coriander leaves very small and keep all this aside, covered with clingfilm, until needed.

When the lentils are cooked, discard the coriander stalks and empty the lentils into a bowl and, while they are still warm, toss them in the lime juice and olive oil.

Add the seasoning and taste to make sure you add enough.

Now add the rest of the prepared salsa ingredients.

Mix well, cover and leave in a cool place.

To cook the salmon, wipe the fillets as dry as possible with kitchen paper and season them.

Heat the oil in a good solid frying pan with the heat turned up to the highest setting.

When it's very hot, add the salmon, keeping the heat highish, and give the fillets 4-5 minutes, then turn them over and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

Drain them on kitchen paper and serve with the salsa and lime slices.


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