Cook time: Serves 4
Ingredients: 6 ounces - thick-cut bacon, diced,
¼ cup - water,
1 - medium onion, finely diced,
1 - medium carrot, finely chopped,
1 - large celery stalk, finely chopped,
2 - garlic cloves, minced,
1 cup - French green lentils (lentilles du puy), picked over for stones and rinsed well ,
2 tablespoons - tomato paste,
⅔ cup - white wine,
3 1/2 - 4 cups - chicken or vegetable broth,
1 - sprig fresh thyme,
1 - sprig fresh rosemary,
4 - (2 12-oz packages) barramundi fillets, thawed,
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste,
1 - 5-oz clamshell baby arugula, washed and dried,
¼ cup - high quality extra virgin olive oil Olive oil, plus 2 Tbsp extra for brushing fish filets,
2 teaspoons - red wine vinegar,
High quality finishing salt, like Maldon (optional),
1 cup French green lentils (lentilles du puy), picked over for stones and rinsed well
2 tablespoonstomato paste
⅔ cup white wine
3 1/2 - 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 (2 12-oz packages) barramundi fillets, thawed
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 5-oz clamshell baby arugula, washed and dried
¼ cup high quality extra virgin olive oil Olive oil, plus 2 Tbsp extra for brushing fish filets
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
High quality finishing salt, like Maldon (optional)
Healthy Without Being Boring.
Earthy lentils braised in white wine and broth become the perfect base for buttery and tender baked barramundi fillets. Peppery arugula and salty crispy bacon bits round out the meal. Recipe, food styling & photography by Lindsey Johnson.
Step 1Heat a large skillet or saucepan over high heat. Add the diced bacon and water, stirring occasionally to separate the pieces. Allow water to boil and evaporate, then lower heat to medium and continue cooking bacon in the rendered fat — about 3-5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon, letting any excess fat drop back into the pan, and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Set aside.
Step 2Add the diced onion, carrot, celery and a hefty pinch of salt to the pan. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30-60 seconds.
Step 3Add the rinsed and drained lentils to the pan. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, until they become nutty and fragrant. Stir in tomato paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes to caramelize, then add the white wine and stir until tomato paste dissolves.
Step 4Add the broth and stir well, scraping up any brown bits that have formed at the bottom of the pan, then add the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Bring to a rolling boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover with a pan lid or aluminum foil and allow to cook for 30 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn heat to medium-high, then continue to cook until lentils are al dente — about five more minutes. Stir well and set aside, covered, for ten minutes. (Don’t worry if there seems to be too much liquid in the pot – the lentils will absorb it as they rest.)
Step 5Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment or lightly greased aluminum foil. Place thawed barramundi fillets on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or just until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
Step 6Remove the rosemary and thyme sprigs from the lentils and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste, stirring well.
Step 7In a small bowl gently toss the arugula with ¼ cup olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a pinch of high quality finishing salt (if you don’t have finishing salt, kosher salt will do).
Step 8To serve, divide the lentils between four dinner plates. Place a barramundi fillet over the lentils. Top each fillet with some of the arugula, then sprinkle the crispy bacon bits over the top. Serve immediately.
Note: Other lentil varieties (except for split red lentils) may be substituted for the French green lentils. The cooking time will vary. Cook lentils only until they are tender so they do not disintegrate. Other leafy greens, such as baby spinach or kale, can be substituted for the arugula. Extra broth can be substituted for the white wine if needed.