Sautéed Salmon with Lentils, Carrots and Orange Butter Sauce

This simple recipe for seared salmon will make a special weeknight dinner. With a buttery sauce brightened by orange peel, it offers perfectly balanced flavors.
Sautéed Salmon with Lentils, Carrots and Orange Butter Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 8oz pieces of Norwegian salmon fillets
  • 4 large carrots, cut into ½” batonnet sticks
  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 1 small carrot, fine dice
  • 1 rib celery, fine dice
  • ½ onion, fine dice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 quart chicken stock (divided)
  • Peel of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, chilled
  • Olive oil, neutral cooking type
  • Jean Reno Classic Olive Oil (finishing oil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. To thaw salmon, remove from packaging, place on a paper towel-lined plate or tray, or a wire rack, on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator. Allow about 12 hours, and once thawed, give a good pat-down with paper towels to remove any remaining moisture before cooking.
  2. Rinse the lentils under cold water and pick them over.
  3. In a saucepot over medium heat, coat the bottom of the pan with cooking olive oil. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Sweat over medium heat until the onions are translucent; do not brown.
  4. Add white wine and continue to cook until almost evaporated, add lentils and 1 cup of chicken stock with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 30 minutes or until the lentils are done; they should be soft but not mushy, and maintain their shape.
  5. In a separate saucepan, cover the carrots with remaining stock and add orange peels, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Simmer over medium heat until carrots are tender. Remove carrots and orange peels and set them aside, leaving the cooking liquid in the saucepot. Continue to cook the liquid down until it is reduced by half. Set aside.
  6. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel and allow the fillets to come to room temperature. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  7. Heat oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Place salmon in the pan skin side down, and cook for at least 3 minutes. Drop sprigs of fresh rosemary into the pan for added flavor. When the skin begins to crisp, tilt the sauté pan so the oil pools at one side of the pan, then using a large spoon, carefully baste the top of your salmon with the hot oil in the pan. Continue to baste the salmon until the desired temperature is achieved (1-2 minutes for medium-rare, 3-5 for medium). You can also drop the pan into a 325F degree oven instead of basting to achieve desired temperature. Remove the fillets from the pan and rest on a wire rack while you finish the sauce.
  8. Add a tablespoon of cold butter to the reduced carrot cooking liquid and whisk into a sauce. Finely julienne the orange peels and reintroduce to the sauce.
  9. Plate your lentils and carrots on a platter and drizzle with a little Jean Reno Classic Olive Oil to finish. Top with the cooked salmon fillet and finish with orange-butter sauce.