Some advance cooking required here – although either the lentils or salmon could easily be leftovers – but this is otherwise a very simple salad. It’s quite substantial for its volume – I was afraid it wouldn’t be quite enough for the 3 of us, but in fact there was a little leftover, even with Mr. Ferdzy still eating like a fence-building bear.
I’ve taken to cooking fish or boneless chicken for salads (or sometimes just to eat at once) in my panini press. It’s quick – about 2/3 the time of broiling it – it’s clean – the parchment paper is just discarded, and sometimes the panini press doesn’t even need to be wiped – and it produces good quality results somewhere between poaching and grilling. The parchment paper keeps all the juices in and you get very moist results. (If you use this technique and plan to eat the fish or chicken hot, leave it wrapped and resting for 5 minutes before you open and serve it.)
I went with a Mediterranean flavour profile here, but I think it would be just as good to replace the seasonings I used with some Furikake. I’d omit the dill, in that case.
3 to 4 servings1 hour to cook lentils15 minutes to cook salmon 20 minutes to finish the salad
Do the Advance Cooking:1 cup brown or green lentils2 1/4 cups water1/4 teaspoon salt400 grams skinned and boned salmon piecessalt & freshly ground black pepper to tasteRinse and pick over the lentils, and put them in a rice cooker with the water and salt. Turn on and let cook. Once they are done, remove the insert from the cooker and let the lentils cool completely. Cover. This can be done up to a day ahead, and the cooled lentils kept in the fridge. Season the salmon pieces with salt and pepper, and wrap them in parchment paper, so that there is a good sealed seam on top and then fold up the edges so the salmon won’t leak as it cooks. Cook it in an electric grill (panini press) for 3 minutes, then rotate the package of salmon and cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes. Lift it out to a plate to cool, leaving it wrapped. Again, this can be done up to 24 hours ahead and kept in the fridge until needed. You could also start with leftover cooked salmon; about 2 cups when chopped.
Make the Dressing:1/4 teaspoon salt1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper1/2 teaspoon rubbed savorythe zest of 1/2 large lemon
3 tablespoons olive oilthe juice of 1 large lemonPut the salt, Aleppo pepper, savory, and lemon zest into a small bowl or jam jar. Add the olive oil and stir until the salt is dissolved. Whisk or stir in the lemon juice.
Make the Salad:2 cups snow peas2 to 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh chives
2 to 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
2 to 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro
2 to 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh dill1 small head Bibb (Boston) lettuceWash the snow peas, and top and tail them. Put a pot of water on to boil, and boil them for 2 minutes. Rinse immediately in cold water until they cooled, then drain very well. Wash, trim, dry, and mince all the herbs. Put them in a mixing bowl with the snow peas. Add the lentils and the salmon, broken into large flakes or chunks. Toss with the salad dressing.
Serve the salad over the washed and dried lettuce leaves, or if you prefer chop them and toss them with the salad. Last year at this time I made Chicken & Asparagus Salad with Hazelnuts & Miso-Ginger Mayonnaise Dressing.