Dominique’s secret recipe for lentil & salmon salad

(En Français plus bas)IMG_7496_Snapseed

I did not know this, but the only lentils produced in France apparently come from the center of the country: the Auvergne region. I love that part of France. I regularly drove through it when I was attending college in Lyon. The highway between Bordeaux and Clermont Ferrand did not exist yet and I had to use all the lovely windy little country roads arounds the old volcanos and deep valleys… The center of France is also where they bottle the best spring water such as Volvic and, a little further East, Vichy.4ddc4f6365629efcb0c0d560a3e18964_SnapseedIMG_7068

So today, I thought I’d introduce you to yet another of my big brother’s recipes: lentils salad with smoked salmon from Scotland: simply boil your lentils for 20 minutes on low heat in water with a teaspoon of baking soda (the edible kind of course). Add one small green pepper thinly chopped and mix with a little vinaigrette (balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, fresh parsley or chives and a touch of tabasco). Add a few slices of smoked salmon, cut into strips at the last moment. A few cubes of cucumber could not hurt the dish either. IDEAL for brunch on December 25th, especially since you can prepare this salad 1 or 2 days in advance!

Note: lentils turn from al dente to overcooked very quickly. Make sure you taste them regularly after the eighteenth minute of cooking

Note. I ruined the recipe once because I put too much dressing. Have a light hand and have a taste

Note: try to replace the salmon with smoked herring. DELICIOUS! In this case you can also add a few boiled potatoes

Note: the baking soda is there to help you digest the damn lentils :0)IMG_7169IMG_1900

Je ne le savais pas, mais les seules lentilles produites en France qui bénéficient d’une AOC viennent du Puy en Velais. J’aime beaucoup le centre de la France. Je le traversais régulièrement lorsque je faisais mes études à Lyon. L’autoroute entre Bordeaux et Clermont Ferrand n’existait pas encore et je devais traverser la Corrèze et le plateau des millevaches par l’étroite nationale presque exclusivement composée de virages.Le Puy - Vue générale prise du château d'Espaly

Aujourd’hui donc, lentilles en salade avec saumon fumé d’Ecosse! Encore une recette de mon grand frère: faites simplement bouillir vos lentilles pendant 20 minutes à petit feu dans de l’eau avec une cuillère à café de bicarbonate de sodium (qualité alimentaire). Coupez 1 poivron vert en tout petit dés et mélangez le tout avec une petite vinaigrette (balsamique, huile d’olive, sel, poivre, moutarde, persil ou ciboulette et une touche de piment d’espelette). Ajoutez quelques tranches de saumon fumé coupé en lanières au dernier moment. Quelques cubes de concombre ne feront pas de mal à la qualité du plat. IDEAL pour le brunch du 25 Décembre puisque vous pouvez tout préparer 1 ou 2 jours à l’avance!

Note: les lentilles tournent très vite a la cuisson. Elles passent d’al dente à trop cuites en l’espace d’une minute. Goûtez les régulièrement à partir de la dix-huitième minute de cuisson
Note. J’ai ruiné la recette une fois en mettant trop de vinaigrette. Ayez la main légère et goûtez plusieurs fois
Note: essayez de remplacer le saumon avec du hareng fumé. DÉLICIEUX! Dans ce cas vous pouvez ajouter quelques petites patates bouillies comme des rattes de l’Île de Ré…

Note: Le bicarbonate de sodium est là pour empêcher les désagréments de la digestion :0)IMG_7466_Snapseed

43 Comments Add yours

  1. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    Stunning images (as usual).
    I love smoked salmon (or fresh salmon in any shape or form), but unfortunately can’t eat lentils any more. I don’t think I’ve ever seen black lentils before. Interesting to read about the baking soda.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Lentils are sometimes hard to digest… I don’t know if that is why you can’t have them, but try the baking soda sometime. It changed my life…

  2. What a lovely combination of flavors and foods – and as you mentioned in your last post, very nutritious. It is a beautiful dish – I could eat this every day. The rich, orange salmon looks so succulent and decadent against the backdrop of the dark lentils, Stéphane! Warmly, Shanna

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Your comments are always so warm and so heartfelt Shanna! Thank you so much! 🙂

      1. Oh, thank you. That is a very kind and generous thing to say. It warms my heart! 🙂 Yes, I am always sincere in my words – and am genuinely impressed by your blog. Take good care, Shanna

  3. flipperine says:

    c’est une bonne idée de recettes

  4. annascuisine says:

    too pretty to eat, but I will eat it. It looks yummy!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You should Anna. It’s really delicious!!

  5. Two of my favourite things! I adore French lentils but have never thought of combining them with smoked salmon. How divine. I feel another inspired by Stephane post coming on. This time last year it was your salmon tartare. It was the perfect starter for our very long and festive Christmas lunch.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I remember! 🙂 This is less fancy but really healthy and easy on the host 😉 Enjoy!!!

  6. I’m going to put this on my menu for Christmas Day. Sounds like a delicious and healthy appetizer. 🙂 Thanks!


    1. My French Heaven says:

      That’s great Janet! You should try it ahead of time to make sure you like the proportions for each ingredient… 😉

  7. saucygander says:

    Ah, non-mushy lentils. My favourite. Lovely recipe…

    1. My French Heaven says:


  8. Urvashi Roe says:

    Love this. So simple but so beautiful – a perfect Christmas starter

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! If you make it for Chrismas, use a metal mold to set it up in each plate. It will look more fancy and festive 😉

    2. My French Heaven says:


  9. Mrs. Smith says:

    I will never look at lentils the same way. Breathtaking! I wish my drive home from college was as lovely as yours. Heaven indeed!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Leilani! The drive was lovely but very VERY long! 🙂

  10. i love recipes like this, when only a few ingredients result in something so stunning and delicious too I bet. Are this puy lentils? Your photography is incredible.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much! Yes, try this recipe. It is super healthy too 😉

      1. I’ve been having internet issues, not sure if i already replied to this, but just wanted to say that i finally tried puy lentils, cooked the way you suggested. It was incredible, like anything Ive had in the past. thank you so much for sharing!

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I’m so glad to hear this!! They are so good for your health too 🙂

          1. I do care about heath, but I sort of like to think that people should eat everything, i mean anything, in moderation, I believe there’s the trick. I could eat 10 pounds of this lentil recipe though, so good! 🙂

  11. Dominique says:

    Reblogged this on UN ESPRIT SAIN DANS UN CORSAGE and commented:
    Mmmmm !…..

  12. Dominique says:

    J’adôooooore la salade de lentilles au… bicarbonate de sodium !
    J’ai quelques fameux gourmands chez moi, alors je te reblog ! Merci tout plein pour tes bons conseils et idées !
    Je n’ai pas encore arrêté ma décision pour le repas de Noël, alors je guette par ici !
    Belle soirée !

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Merci Dominique! Pour Noël je fais gravlax maison et calamars à l’Américaine…

  13. Steve says:

    And extraordinarily healthful….a real supermeal made from superfoods! Lentils pack massive fibre, salmon Omega 3’s. Not that I really care….it must above all taste fantastic, and this looks absolutely mouthwatering!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Steve! It’s delicious. Try it but be careful or you’ll fart your way all the way to the moon 😉 ,)

  14. talkavino says:

    Your pictures are spectacular, Stephane! And the recipe sounds like fun too!

  15. Rosa de los Vientos says:

    The lentils seem to have painted little faces. They look so beautiful.

  16. Rosa de los Vientos says:

    Oh, dear Stéphane, what a nice and healthy recipe! Good combi comfort food.
    And luckily you always make things cristal clear, as I was going to explote those beautifully coloured lentils with my favorite caustic soda. 😀
    That would be a lovely drawing anyway…
    Cheers my friend!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks darling! I LOVE your avatar with the flower. You are so talented!!!

  17. June says:

    Loving the photos as always, Stéphane. Also loving that the French version is always slightly different to the English version – keeps me on my toes! Not sure that Tabasco & Basque piment d’espelette are directly interchangeable (I’m just showing off now!), but I get the gist. Looks like one to try with a nice piece of Irish smoked salmon (motherland and all that!!!) Perfect, as you say, for brunch on Dec. 25th.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m the one showing off thinking that most people don’t know what piment d’espelette is or just can’t get it where they are 🙂 It is obviously very different, but whatever can give an extra kick to the vinaigrette will do. As always, thanks for your comment June! 😉

  18. I like lentil salad and this would be a welcome change at Christmas from the usual fare. Hope you have a fabulous time and lots of foodie joys.

  19. Idéales aussi pour le brunch du premier de l’An, histoire d’être riche toute l’année (bon c’est une tradition plutôt provençale je crois mais chez moi on fait ça et c’est très sympa. Histoire d’échanger un plat de lentilles contre un royaume, sait-on jamais, peut-être que cela fonctionne aussi dans ce sens là !!)

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Je fais du gravlax pour le soir du 31. Ton idée est donc parfaite pour moi 😉 Et par ailleurs j’adore ce que tu fais avec les poires ces temps-ci!!

      1. 😉 Je travaille par phase… Jusqu’à ce que l’entourage fasse une overdose, mais les poires sont tellement délicieuses !

  20. scolgin says:

    That close up of the lentils is stunning.

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