Oven-Baked Salmonwith lentil, mushroom, spinach 'cream' sauce
This creamy lentil, mushroom, spinach sauce is the perfect hearty and umami accompaniment to salmon. You'll feel like you're making a fancy restaurant dish!
Smarts: Instead of using cream, we combine milk with corn starch as a thickener to get that 'creamy' effect.
- Salmon - 1 lb
- Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
- Shallots - 1 bulb, sliced
- Brown / cremini mushrooms - 1/2 lb, sliced
- Parsley (opt) - 4 sprigs, chopped
- Chicken stock - 1/2 cup
- Milk (any type) - 1/2 cup
- Corn starch - 1 Tbsp
- Vacuum-packed, cooked lentils - 1 1/2 cups ((Look in the refrigerated aisle where tofu is kept. If not available, substitute canned lentils))
- Cooking oil - 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Dried thyme - 1/4 tsp
- Baby spinach - 2 1/2 oz
- Lemons - 1, juice of half, wedges of the other half
- Salt and pepper - to taste
- Salmon - Slice into desired portions (if not pre-filleted). Rinse and pat dry. Lightly salt and pepper.
- Garlic / Shallots / Mushrooms / Parsley - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Make sauce - Mix together minced garlic with chicken stock, milk, and corn starch.
- Lentils - Drain and rinse if using canned. If using vacuum packed, just give them a rinse.
- Heat oven to 400F (204C) degrees. Station sheet pan next to your stove.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan, skillet, or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add first part of cooking oil and then fish fillets presentation-side (presentation side = non-skin side) down to the heated oil. Sear for ~3 minutes, until fish is golden.
- Flip and transfer onto sheet pan and roast for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish fillets, and desired done-ness. We like our salmon on the medium-side, with just a bit of translucence in the center still.
- While salmon is cooking, add second part of oil to the same pan that you started the fish in. Next add in shallots and thyme. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add in mushrooms and lentils and cook until mushrooms have started to soften, ~3 minutes.
- Give your sauce a stir and then pour it into the pan. Let it sit and wait for it to bubble and thicken. Toss so that it coats the mushrooms and lentils. Cook until mushrooms are tender.
- Fold in spinach leaves and remove from heat when leaves have wilted. Finish with chopped parsley (if using) and lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Enjoy fish atop creamed mushroom, lentils, and spinach. Serve with lemon wedges.
This meal has 50 reviews
The lentils & mushrooms were bland.
I substituted quinoa for lentils and add a can of cream of mushroom soup for a creamier, tastier sauce.
My very first Cook Smarts meal! The salmon slightly overpowered the lentil mixture, but it was very tasty otherwise. I wouldn't mind making it again with either a different, milder meat (chicken?) or even without any meat since the lentils are a decent protein source. Really loved the seasonings and fresh taste!
The lentil/mushroom sauce was fantastic... after some modification! After reading some reviews that mentioned blandness (not surprising when working with mushrooms and lentils), I made a few changes. I added in the mushrooms by themselves (lentils waited) along with a splash of marsala and a good squirt of anchovy paste. I cooked the mushrooms long after they began to release their water until the pan was starting to dry up and the mushrooms were nice and brown. At that point, I added the lentils and followed the recipe as written (except I skipped the cornstarch-thickened milk and just used a splash of cream instead). The end result was a sauce that was delicious enough to be its own meal - though we still had it with salmon :-)
This meal was very good! Even my very picky 14-year-old son, who didn't want to try the sauce, ended up eating it without complaint. I have a high intolerance for FODMAP foods however and this recipe was full of them so I suffered a bit from that but I definitely would make this for a nice dinner guest meal. I thought it was restaurant quality! I also substituted coconut milk for the milk and arrow root powder for the cornstarch.
I couldn't find the cooked lentils, so I made it with dry lentils that I cooked first. That might have affected the end result, but the creamed mushroom/lentil mix didn't have a lot of flavor and had an odd texture.