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Olive Oil-Poached Salmon with Pickled Ramps


Having friends who fish is the best. Well, really, having friends who fish and share is the best! Jake came home with a large fillet of salmon from Phil, a friend at work. Sweet! So, last night, I poached it in olive oil, put it on a bed of lentils, and topped it with some pickled ramps. Dinner!!

Ingredients
Olive Oil-Poached Salmon
  • salmon fillets (serving sizes vary, but I did 1/4 pound per person for this dinner)
  • olive oil as needed
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 to 4  fresh fennel fronds
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
Lentils
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 C brown lentils
  • 2 C fresh tomato wedges
  • 1 t ground sea salt
  • olive oil for serving
To Finish
  • freshly ground salt
  • pickled ramps (my recipe here)


Procedure
Olive Oil-Poached Salmon
Select a large enough pot that the salmon fillets can sit flat without touching each other.

Pour olive oil into the pot so that it’s about ½” deep. Add garlic and fennel fronds. Bring the olive oil to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Lower the salmon fillets – skin-side down – into the warm oil. Poach for 10 to 12 minutes. Flip the fillets and poach for another 5 to 6 minutes. If using immediately, serve warm.

Lentils
Heat oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Add the onions, fennel, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are deeply caramelized, approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Do not rush this step.

Sort through the lentils and place them in a medium saucepan. Add water to cover the lentils completely by at least an inch. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender but still retaining their shape. Drain the lentils and set aside.

When the onions are cooked, stir in the tomatoes. Add the lentils, 2 C of water, and the salt. Stir to combine. Decrease the heat to keep the liquid at a slow simmer. Cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the lid and stir. If there is still liquid, cover again and cook till no liquid remains. 

To Finish
Spoon lentils onto individual serving plates or bowls. Drizzle with olive oil. Place the salmon on top of the lentils. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Garnish with pickled ramps. Serve immediately.

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