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Salmon with Lentils

Our last issue featured an article on the anti-diabetes and weight-control benefits of resistant starch: a kind we don't digest well and which are most abundant in lentils and beans.

Today's recipe is adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten, author of the five Barefoot Contessa cookbooks named after her wildly popular gourmet deli in East Hampton. She also stars in her "Barefoot Contessa" show on the Food Network.

Her latest book is Barefoot Contessa at Home, but judging by the reviews on, you may want to check out her first tome
titled The Barefoot Contessa Cookbookfirst, as it seems to be the most popular.

Salmon with Lentils

Serves 4

1/2 pound French (green) lentils
1/4 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups chopped leeks (white and light green parts)
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary or thyme leaves
teaspoon dried organic basil
teaspoons sea salt
teaspoon organic cayenne (optional)
3/4 teaspoon organic black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 cup chopped celery (4 stalks)
1 1/2 cup chopped carrots or parsnips (3 medium roots)
1 1/2 cup organic chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 (6 oz) wild salmon fillets

  • Place the lentils in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 15 minutes, then drain.

  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a sauté pan, add the onions, leeks, thyme, salt, cayenne, and pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the drained lentils, celery, carrots, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add the vinegar and season, to taste.

Preheat oven to 450 F.

  • For the salmon, heat a dry oven-proof sauté pan over high heat for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, rub both sides of the salmon fillets with olive oil and season the tops with salt and pepper to taste.

  • When the pan is very hot, place the salmon fillets seasoning-sides down in the pan and cook over medium heat without moving them for 2 minutes, until very browned. Turn the fillets and place the pan in the oven for 5‒7 minutes, until the salmon is cooked medium-rare (flakes easily under fork pressure; do not overcook).

  • Spoon a mound of lentils on each plate, place a salmon fillet, on top and serve.

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