Salmon with Lentils and Mustard Herb Butter for Babies, Moms and Dads
I’m on the hunt for recipes that work for both my husband and I and for our almost 9-month-old baby boy. We’re in danger of (or more accurately, firmly entrenched in) an oatmeal and sweet potato rut. Recently he’s gotten very interested in picking up tiny pieces of food and aiming them torward his mouth (he ate a whole pile of steamed zucchini the other day!) Yesterday, another mom at playgroup mentioned that her daughter loves lentils, which sounded like a perfect finger food, so I decided to look for something made with lentils that was simple and not spicy that would also appeal to grownup palates. I found this Gourmet recipe which fits the bill perfectly, with a few minor tweaks. I prepared and served it in two stages: first the lentils and the compound butter, made without salt, with the leeks finely chopped, and with the addition of some carrot for the little man, which he ate up happily, then adding salt, a splash of wine, and preparing the fish for me and dad. Dad is a little iffy on salmon, and he even liked it! I haven’t fed the baby fish yet, but he’ll have a few flakes of the leftover salmon with his lunch today.
Saumon Aux Lentils
Adapted from Shelly Wiseman, Gourmet March 2008
For mustard-herb butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup French green lentils
4 cups water
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
2 medium carrots, peeled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tbsp white wine
1/2 to 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 (6-ounce) pieces skinless salmon fillet
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Make mustard-herb butter:
Stir together all ingredients. When you’re ready to cook the salmon, add 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.
Bring lentils, and water to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid, then drain lentils.
While lentils cook, halve leeks, wash thoroughly to remove any sand, then chop fine. Finely dice carrots. Cook leeks and carrots in butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add lentils with reserved cooking liquid to leeks along with 3 tablespoons mustard-herb butter and cook, stirring, until lentils are heated through and butter is melted. Remove from heat. At this point, baby’s dinner is ready! I served him about 3 tbsp of lentils along with 3 defrosted mashed sweet potato cubes and 1 tbsp of yogurt.
When the baby is asleep, gently reheat the lentils and add lemon juice, wine and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.
Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (total).
Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté salmon, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.
Serve salmon, topped with remaining mustard-herb butter, over lentils.