The combination of flavors in this recipe for Crispy Skin Salmon with Lentils and Bacon is out of this world. Bacon, orange, earthy lentils along with the fattiness of the salmon…what more could you ask for? Oh yeah, crispy skin!
1cuplentilsrinsed (Preferably French Lentils or Black Beluga)
1medium yellow onionminced (about ¾ cup)
1carrotpeeled and finely chopped
42-inch long orange peel strips (orange part only, no white pith)
2– 3 slices thick applewood bacon
¼cupchopped fresh parsley
¼cupchopped chives or green onion topstry the chives, they really are different than green onion tops
2tablespoonsminced fresh tarragon or 2 teaspoons dried
46-ounce skin-on Salmon fillets ( use wild-caught salmon if at all possible; it’s got better taste, better texture, it’s good for YOU and it’s good for the environment)
Olive oilas needed
Combine the lentils, onion, carrot, orange peel, and water in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes. Drain, reserving ¾ cup cooking liquid; discard the orange peel. Return the lentils to the pan; season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared day ahead. Cover and chill the lentils and reserved cooking liquid separately.)
While the lentils cook fry the bacon until crisp. Remove, drain, and chop into pieces. (Hint I like to have uniform pieces of bacon in my dish, so I slice the bacon first into uniform pieces and then fry them.)
Place a frying pan over medium heat. (Hint - I use the same skillet I use to cook my bacon, excess fat drained for an even smokier bacony flavor). Add a small amount of oil; heat until shimmering but not smoking hot. Season the fish with salt on the skin side, and a bit of salt and pepper on the flesh side. Place in the filet, skin-side down, into the hot frying pan. Cook until just opaque, then turn and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
While your fish is cooking, add enough reserved cooking liquid to the lentils to moisten them; mix in the cream, parsley, chives, and tarragon; bring to a simmer. Add the bacon. Spoon lentils onto warmed plates; top with the salmon, skin side up, and serve.
I like to mix ¾ of my bacon into the lentils, reserving the rest to sprinkle on the top.