Salmon with Lentil-Beet Salad

The crisp, buttery skin-on salmon fillet in this healthy dish from Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple is perfect with the tangy lentil salad, but the salad itself is so good, it could easily stand on its own. If you can’t find frisée, use escarole and chicory instead.Slideshow: Grilled Salmon Recipes

Salmon with Lentil Beet Salad
Photo: © David Malosh
Total Time:
50 mins


  • 1 cup French green lentils

  • Kosher salt and pepper

  • 6 baby golden beets, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch wedges

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 cups torn frisée, white and light green parts only 

  • 2 red endives—halved lengthwise, cored and sliced crosswise on the diagonal

  • Four 5- to 6-ounce skin-on salmon fillets


  1. In a large saucepan, cover the lentils with at least 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, add a generous pinch of salt and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain well and spread the lentils on a baking sheet to cool.

  2. Rinse out the saucepan and put a steamer basket in it. Add 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Scatter the beets in the basket, cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Let the beets cool.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the shallot, mustard and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lentils, beets, frisée and endives and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and toss again.

  4. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the salmon, skin side down, and press gently with a spatula to flatten. Cook over moderately high heat until the skin is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook until it is medium within, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the salmon to plates and serve with the lentil salad.

Make Ahead

The lentil salad can be refrigerated overnight. Fold in the frisée and endive before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Pinot Noir: Anyone seeking out great Pinot Noir would do well to look for two words on the label, Sonoma County—it’s arguably America’s greatest Pinot Noir region. Thanks to the brisk ocean breezes of the far Sonoma Coast, or the morning fog that creeps over the Russian River Valley, the climate could not have been better designed for this cool-weather-loving variety. And it's an ideal partner for rich fish like salmon.

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