Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Trout with French Lentils and Mustard-herb Dressing

I found this fabulous recipe that called for salmon recently in a search for more reasons to use yummy French green lentils. Only problem wild salmon that used to be 10 dollars a pound is now 25. I didn't want to use tilapia...AGAIN, so my pal James suggested trout instead, given it has a lot of salmon-like qualities. I also wasn't up for all the butter that the original recipe called for. 8 Tbs total. So instead of a mustard-herb butter, I made a dressing using olive oil. Another change I made was baking the fish in lieu of sauteing it in butter as per the original recipe.
I'll be making this easier than it looks recipe over and over again.

Trout with Lentils and Mustard-herb Dressing:
(adapted from Gourmet)

Mustard Herb dressing:

If you're making 4 filets you might want to extend the dressing. This amount was perfect for 2. Just make sure that you don't put 1/2 of the dressing in your lentils as the recipe states if you make a larger amount. I think a little over a Tbs is a good amount for the adding to the lentils.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. chopped chives
1 tsp chopped tarragon
2 tsp grainy mustard
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
a pinch of kosher salt
~1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
I put a tiny little squeeze of agave in to balance the flavors


1 cup French green lentils
4 cups water
2 medium leeks (white and pale parts only)
~1 Tbs olive oil
water or broth for sauteing leeks
1/2 to 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste


4 (6-ounce) pieces of skin on steelhead trout (I bought 1 lb of trout and baked it whole...this made three portions. It would have looked prettier had I cut the fish before baking, but it was nice and moist this way)
a little dab of olive oil
salt and pepper

Make mustard-herb dressing by mixing all ingredients together except oil.
Drizzle the oil in slowly whisking quickly to emulsify.

Bring lentils, water, and 3/4 tsp salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender (20-25 minutes).
Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid, then drain lentils. Or, if you're on the phone jabbering away and accidentally toss all the liquid you can use veggie broth like I did. :-)

Preheat oven to 450.

While lentils cook, chop leeks, then wash thoroughly.
Cook leeks in olive oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until softened.

If found that the leeks took longer than I'd expected to soften...probably due to the reduction of fat, so after they'd sauteed in the oil for about 6-8 minutes I added some chicken broth, covered the skillet, reduced the heat and simmered until they were soft.

Place lightly oiled fish skin side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Salt and pepper the fish then bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness (my fillet took 13 minutes total), or until fish is done and flakes with a fork.

While fish is baking, add lentils with reserved cooking liquid to leeks along with about 1/2 of the mustard-herb dressing and cook, stirring until lentils are heated through. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until fish is done.

When fish is done, slide the fish off the skin and serve topped with remaining dressing, over lentils.

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