Smokey BBQ Baked Lentils, Cedar Plank Salmon

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What is it about holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July that necessitate barbecues? Sure Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, but our grill has already been going strong for weeks. Still, I felt the need to prepare some sort of traditional backyard fare. Shawn suggested burgers, but that seemed like a waste of a good day off. We can have burgers whenever. I wanted something a little more creative. Something that actually required some thought. I settled on salmon grilled on a cedar plank and BBQ baked lentils.

Yes, that’s right: lentils. I don’t really care for baked beans. They’re too starchy or too soft something. My mom makes what everyone considers pretty awesome baked beans — they’re requested at every family get-together — but I never ate them. When I was little, there was one kind of baked bean that I would eat. They came from a can. They were BBQ. And they contained a melange of various beans rather than simply relying on navy beans. I still remember the day when we stopped being able to find them in the grocery store. It was heartbreaking. This past Easter, we sat down to dinner and I saw that my mom had made her beans. They looked amazing. Plump, succulent beans swimming in a lightly spiced sauce, all capped off by a perfectly crisp layer of meaty bacon. It was the bacon that did me in. Those beans have been in the back on my mind ever since.

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My recipe takes it’s inspiration from my mom’s version, complete with that all-important bacon layer. I used lentils instead of beans and was thrilled with how the texture turned out — they soaked up the sauce and were juicy without being too starchy. I also thought carefully about my sauce. I didn’t want to rely on a store-bought sauce. Too many of them just taste like flavored corn syrup, and almost all of them are too sweet — especially after reducing in the oven. Plus, I wanted something with some heat to it. I ended up using my pomegranate-chipotle barbecue sauce recipe, which was complimented the meatiness of the applewood smoked bacon perfectly. The pomegranate juice added a touch of tartness, the chipotles added smoke and spice. While the final dish was exactly spicy it did have a lingering heat — if you’re very sensitive to hot foods, you may want to use less chipotle.

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Since the flavor of the beans was so bold, I wanted to keep the salmon on the simpler side. I grilled it on a cedar plant with some fresh orange slices. The result was a silky-smooth fish with a faint wood flavor and brightness from the citrus. Together, the two recipes came together in a meal that took the lazy summer cookout to a new level: simple and traditional enough for the burger-lovers of your group, but with a refined flavor and enough elegance to impress almost anyone.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Smokey BBQ Baked Lentils
 
Lentils provide a nice change of pace from traditional navy beans in this recipe. The pomegranite-chipotle barbecue sauce is smokey and tart with a subtle but lingering heat.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs molasses
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 chipotles in adobe, chopped
  • 1 Tbs adobo
  • 3 slices bacon, preferably applewood smoked
Preparation
  1. In a large pot, combine the lentils and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce and let simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils soften.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your sauce: Heat olive oil and garlic in a medium skillet and cook until garlic softens. Add next 7 ingredients (through adobo) and whisk to combine.
  3. Bring to a simmer and let reduce for 10-15 minutes, or until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Combine the lentils and sauce in a small baking dish. Arrange the bacon in a single layer over the top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until bacon has crisped up and sauce has become very thick.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 160 Fat: 3 Fiber: 5 Protein: 7

 
5.0 from 1 reviews
Cedar Plank Salmon
 
Grilling salmon on a cedar plank helps to keep it from drying out, resulting in a luxuriously smooth piece of fish. In this recipe, Thyme and fresh orange slices keep this recipe fresh and light.
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cedar planks, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 2 6-ounce salmon filets
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme
  • ½ orange, cut into thin slices
  • cracked black pepper
Preparation
  1. Heat your grill to medium and place the plank directly n the grates. After a few minutes the plank will begin to steam, but you should at no time let it flame up. Place your salmon filets on the plank. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme. Place the orange slices on top of each filet and sprinkle with cracked black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, for medium salmon, or to your desired level of doneness. Squeeze the juice from the orange slice over the fish.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 330 Fat: 6 Fiber: 0 Protein: 43

 

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Through June 15, I will be blogging healthy and unique recipes featuring lentils and dried peas under a sponsorship agreement through theUSA Lentil and Dy Pea Council. Although these posts are sponsored, opinions in them are my own and all recipes are original unless otherwise noted.

Comments

  1. Wow, that looks amazing! I love salmon and lentils. Great pair!! :)

    Jenn

  2. I think I would like BBQs a whole lot more if I were fed food like this! (I’m not really the biggest burger fan…don’t hate me!). Your lentil baked beans look fantastic, as does that salmon! I have one bottle of POM left…I think I see your bbq sauce in my future!

  3. I love salmon and this is a wonderful bbq grilled salmon. Lentils goes well with salmon! Thanks for sharing this with us :)

  4. Wow. I love the BBQ lentils with all of that bacon. We really like lentils, but only use them in salads and soups. I’ve got to try this.

    Your salmon is gorgeous, with the orange slices. Goes perfectly with the spicy beans.
    Sam

  5. Wow, those BBQ Lentils have me mesmerized. I really don’t like the sickeningly sweet bbq baked beans that always seem to be served at barbecues, but those lentils look like the perfect alternative. And with bacon … well, that just won my husband over :)

  6. Fantastic! I love this, the idea of the lentils is great. wow! Another good one :-)

  7. Monique says:

    why havent I thought of BBQ LENTILS! i love lentils! and I think its time i try my hand at making my own bbq beans!

  8. Hands down, this is my fave way to cook salmon. The planks keep the salmon moist and give them a wonderful flavor. Plus, fish is so very easy to cook this way. What’s not to like? ;)

  9. The orange on the salmon is a really good idea! It sounds and looks amazing. Thanks for you inspiration!

  10. Smokey BBQ Baked Lentils sound fantastic, what a great side dish, perfect with salmon!

  11. This recipe look awesome and I can not wait to try it this weekend. Thanks for creativity. As a small side note, I serve on the board of directors of Foodbuzz and your pictures reminded me why I love working with this community

  12. I love the ingredients in your BBQ lentils. I’m trying to incorporate those into my diet and my Vegetarian son loves them. I’ll make a double batch and one with no bacon for him. Glad I found your blog. Searched salmon and lentils. Looks like you’re a real food gal too. Hope you’ll visit my blog and join in one Tuesday for our continuation of 30 Days to a Food Revolution. Thanks again!

  13. I cooked the salmon in the same pan that I used for the sauce. It was amazing!!!

  14. Thesе are genuinely impressive ideas in on the tߋpic of Ьlogging.
    You have touched some nice things here. Anny way ҟeep up wrinting.

  15. What a fantastic recipe! Salmon is one of my favorites! I am always looking for NEW ideas and this one is perfect! Easy to follow!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] I posted about BBQ Baked Lentils, a few people noted that they had never used lentils except for in salads and soups. To be honest […]

  2. […] Smokey BBQ Baked Lentils, Cedar Plank Salmon - Great summer dish with salmon and lentils. […]

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