Crispy Skin Salmon with Lentils, Quinoa and Kale



I may or may not have come up with this recipe this morning while sitting on the couch, eating the rest of the apple pie frozen yogurt that I (like an idiot) made ahead for family dinner this week, while watching last night’s “Fargo”.

My life is so hard.

Darius picked up some beautiful Copper River salmon this week, which is great because I’ve been wanting to hone some of my fish grilling skills in preparation for summer.

There were a lot of moving parts to bring this meal together, but nothing particularly difficult. After I got my quinoa and lentils on the stove, I started making the salmon rub and vinaigrette.

Let’s start with the rub for the salmon:

  • 1 dried persian lime
  • 1 ancho chili, seeds removed
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 2 T sea salt
  • 1 C brown sugar

Grind the lime, chili and cumin seeds into powder. In a small bowl, mix in with the brown sugar, sea salt and smoked paprika. Whatever you don’t use will stay good in an airtight container for a few weeks.) On to the vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c apple vinegar
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t pepper
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t coriander
  • 1/2 cardamom
  • 1/4 t cayenne
  • 1/4 t cloves
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1 T nutritional yeast

Grind whichever spices you have whole. Otherwise use dried spices. (Measurements are *after* grinding.)

Use a hand blender or stand blender for the olive oil, vinegar, syrup, mustard salt and pepper. Add in the spices and nutritional yeast and blend.

Next, I worked the rub into the fish and let it sit on the counter to room temp for about 20 minutes.

On to the kale salad:

  • 8 cups kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 T olive oil

Kale is funny. It is water resistant and needs some roughing up. After chopping the kale, I put it into a big bowl, added the olive oil and started lightly rubbing the kale together. It looks better, feels better, and tastes better when you massage it a little.

By now, the quinoa and lentils are done. Shock them both with cold water and rinse. Then return to the hot pot, cover and let steam for a bit while you are sautéing the vegetables:

  • 4 mushrooms
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 carrot, small dice

Saute all of the vegetables together until opaque, and season well.

Now, the salmon!

Grill over indirect heat at 400 degrees, skin side down.

While the salmon is grilling, you can build your plate!

Start with the bed of kale, then add quinoa and lentils. Put sautéed vegetables on top of that, and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Top that with dried currants and roasted rosemary and black pepper cashews. Then add the fish, and enjoy!



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