Although I have rated this as a 3 spoon recipe this is mainly due to the length of cooking time required. It is an incredibly easy dish to make and so satisfying that you’ll think it’s worth the effort.Fibro Food Fairy
Do you ever see a recipe online or in a magazine somewhere with an amazing accompanying photo that instantly entices you to try and make it yourself, only to find that the end result looks nothing like what you had planned and is a total disappointment in the flavour department?
As someone who spends pretty much all day, every day trying to create recipes I shouldn’t let it affect me but I have to say nothing annoys me more than spending time, money and much needed energy on recipes that don’t work out. It’s one thing if you make a mistake, haven’t quite followed the instructions or have substituted ingredients because you can identify what went wrong; but when you are sure that you have done everything right it can be incredibly frustrating.
That is how this recipe came to fruition. I created this recipe when a similar one found in the recipe section of one of the leading supermarkets (I won’t say who) went horribly wrong. The original recipe used cod and tinned green lentils and the result was lacklustre and visually unappealing. This is when I realised that I should trust my cooking instincts more instead of being blindly led by the recipe instructions. When cooking dairy and gluten free this can be a brave thing to do as many of the ingredients and methods you may have learnt over the years, possibly been taught by your parents, don’t always apply in this type of food preparation. However, I knew that I could have executed it better myself and so I decided to give it a go.
I have to say I am extremely proud of the result, and if I am totally honest a little shocked at how well it turned out. Sometimes when I am creating a recipe it may take two or three attempts before I am totally happy with the result and sometimes recipes just don’t make the cut and I have to accept that. However this one, luckily enough, went right first time. Like Hannibal from the A Team “I love it when a plan comes together!”
The salmon works so well and has much better flavour than the cod used in the original recipe. Its bright pink flesh makes the whole dish visually much more appealing and its full of healthy omega 3 which means that it is better for us to. I have also used a rose cider and butternut squash, which might sound overly sweet however this is not the case as the sweetness is balanced by the nutty, earthy lentils, creamy, dairy free yoghurt and the acid from the final squeeze of lemon juice.
As I mentioned in the intro I have rated this as a 3 spoon recipe as a some effort is required and the cooking time is quite long. However, there are shortcuts to be made which make it far easier to execute. For example, you can now buy prepared bags of vegetables at the supermarket. I have based the quantities for the butternut squash this on one of these bags, which is basically two portions. Another thing that I would really recommend as it is a great way to save time and effort is to buy bags of frozen onions, shallots, herbs and spices. I also freeze bags of fresh vegetables such as kale and spinach. Sometimes this can affect the overall appearance, taste and texture of the dish, for example, I would not recommend using fresh spinach that has been frozen for a salad. However, if it is going into a dish where texture is not going to be an issue then I am all for it. It saves time and money. Not having to chop, peel or grate, onions, garlic and ginger is an ideal solution for those of us with depleted energy reserves.
I also use Merchant Gourmet Simply Cooked Champagne lentils. Using preprepared cooked lentils is another way to save time and effort. Just be sure to check the ingredients to ensure they are gluten and dairy free and free from nasty additives and preservatives.
I have deliberately tailored the instructions so that you are only completing one task at a time rather than trying to multitask, managing several processes at once. For example, you could prepare the salmon whilst the butternut squash is roasting in the oven. If you have the energy and feel confident with multitasking then please feel free to do so however I find that on days when I am tired and a little foggy it is easier to concentrate on one thing at a time.
Free From Information:
• Dairy free
• Egg free
• Gluten free
• Nut free
• Soya free
• Refined sugar free
Cider salmon with champagne lentils
Easy to prepare, great for entertaining!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 300g preprepared butternut squash or 300g butternut squash, peeled, chopped into small bite-size cubes
- Salt and pepper
- 50g frozen, chopped shallots or 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic purée or 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 180mL Thatcher’s rose cider
- 2 skinless, boneless salmon fillets (approximately 240g)
- 250g Merchant Gourmet Simply Cooked Champagne lentils
- Zest of ½ lemon and 2 lemon wedges to serve
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dairy free yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon toasted seeds
- (I used the seeds from the butternut squash, seasoned and toasted for 10 minutes in the oven)
Preheat the oven to 180° C fan. Toss the prepared butternut squash in one tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes until soft and caramelised. Once cooked turn down the oven and keep warm.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a sauté pan on a medium heat. Sweat the shallots and garlic for approximately 6-8 minutes until soft.
Once cooked add the cider, bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Add the seasoned salmon fillets to the pan. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes until the salmon is just cooked (see Fibro Food Fairy Tips below). Carefully remove the salmon from the pan and keep warm in the oven with the butternut squash.
Return the pan to the heat, add the cooked lentils, bring back to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes or until virtually all the cooking liquid has disappeared. Taste to check the seasoning and adjust if required.
After this time take the pan off the heat and stir through the dairy free yoghurt, lemon zest and half of the parsley.
Serve the lentils on warm plates. Top with the roasted butternut squash and the salmon fillets. Sprinkle the toasted seeds over the top and the remaining fresh parsley. Serve with a wedge of lemon for a hint of citrus freshness.
Fibro Food Fairy Tip: Salmon should be cooked to 62.8°C however the salmon will continue to cook from the residual heat after you remove it from the pan. To avoid overcooking the salmon cook until 52°C. Fibro Food Fairy Tip: the seeds from the butternut squash work particularly well with this dish but pumpkin seeds would also make a good alternative.