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Seared Salmon with Dill Sauce, Chard and Lentils

Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Why we love it:

If a simple light main with two hearty sides and an addictive versatile sauce is what you need, this dish delivers. Try the extra sauce as a salad dressing or over any roasted veggies.


  • 112 cups Green Lentils
  • 212 cups Water
  • 212 teaspoons Kosher Salt. (divided)
  • 114 pounds Salmon filets (deboned)
  • 1 teaspoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1 bunch Green Chard (large bunch)
  • 1 clove Garlic (sliced)
  • 1 Shallot (sliced thinly into rings)
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 1 Lemon (zest and juice, divided)
  • 12 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 12 cup Mayonnaise

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. LENTILS

    Bring the lentils and water to a boil, over high heat, in a small pot. Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Once boiling, turn down to medium, keeping it at a steady but gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • 2. CHARD

    Meanwhile, clean the chard. If it’s really dirty, fill a large bowl with water in the sink. If it seems clean, you can just use a colander in the sink. Use a knife of your hands to tear the leaves off of the stems and stack the leaves. Tear or chop into 2” pieces roughly square. Wash under running water in the colander or submerge and agitate in the bowl. Trim just the very bottoms off of the stems, then dice them into small squares. Wash them separately.

    Slice the shallot and garlic clove if using. Set all aside.

  • 3. SALMON

    Next, prep the salmon. Pat it dry with a paper towel and sprinkle the filets evenly with 1 teaspoon of salt. Heat a large non-stick saute pan over medium high heat and melt the butter and add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Once the butter is melted, add the salmon skin side up (if your salmon is skinless, this still applies. The skin side will be lightly grey and smoother than the top side where you can see the bright flesh and layers flaking apart. The skin side is also flatter).

  • 4. SEAR

    While cooking, you should hear sizzling and be able to tell that the salmon is cooking - medium to medium high heat works well - but you don’t want to go too fast. Cooking quickly is what causes the white proteins to leak out and congeal on the sides of the filet. If that happens, just turn the heat down and you can gently wipe them off with a napkin or the back of a knife. If about 2.5 inches thick the salmon filets can sear on this side for 6-7 minutes. You’ll see the sides of the filets turning opaque. When ready, gently flip and cook the other side for 5-6 minutes or until they feel firm to the touch and are medium rare-medium depending on your preference. Once flipped, zest some of the lemon over the top of the filets and sprinkle on 1 Tablespoon of chopped dill.

  • 5. CHARD

    In a wide bottomed pot with at least 2” tall sides, heat another teaspoon of olive oil over medium high. Add the garlic, shallot and diced chard stems. Saute for 2 minutes until fragrant, then add the leaves. Shake the water off as you go but no need to dry it well, the water will actually help the leaves cook evenly. Stir often with tongs until the leaves are mostly wilted and have greatly reduced. Squeeze in half of the lemon.

  • 6. SAUCE

    In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and mayo with any remaining lemon zest and 2 Tablespoons of dill. Squeeze in the other half of the lemon.


    When your lentils are done, they should be tender and without much water remaining. If there is water left, but they’re tender, drain it out. Stir in a pinch of salt and the final teaspoon of olive oil.

  • 8. PLATING

    Serve lentils in the center of the plate. Place chard on the side. Top with a filet of salmon and generously serve dill sauce with all components.

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  • DILL:
    Use cilantro, basil, or parsley.
    Any fish you can sear works well here, even something like shrimp. Of try chicken or pork with these sides.
    Sub your preferred grain, simply cooked. Even a small pasta, like orzo or orecchiette is nice.
  • CHARD:
    Baby spinach or baby kale come pre-washed and shave some time off the prep work. Simply toss into the pan and saute as directed.
  • MAYO:
    Don’t like it? All yogurt is fine but consider whisking in a Tablespoon of olive oil to balance out the acidity.
    An almond, coconut, or tofu based sour cream/yogurt would work quite well in this sauce.
    Swap to a grain or green that the kids like - even just one of the components being familiar will give them confidence to try the other.
Rate this recipe:
2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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