Note: I was sent a PDF copy of Beach House Dinners: Simple, Summer-Inspired Meals for Entertaining Year-Round by chef Lei Shishak in order to write this post. Opinions are mine alone.
I think we could all use a bit of escape right about now. So what better way to get in a beach-state-of-mind than through easy home cooking? I recently had the opportunity to page through Lei Shishak’s new cookbook: Beach House Dinners: Simple, Summer-Inspired Meals for Entertaining Year-Round, which is filled with over 80 recipes perfect for summer cooking.
Lei Shishak is the founder of Sugar Blossom Bake Shop in San Clemente, CA and the author of Beach House Baking, heralded by USA Today as one of the top 10 cookbooks of summer 2014, Beach House Brunch and Farm-to-Table Desserts. She is an established pastry chef who trained at the CIA in New York and has worked in restaurants in Sun Valley, Los Angeles and Orange County.
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted (or margarine, to make dairy free)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 (1/4 lb) salmon fillets
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 (10 oz) container cherry tomatoes, halved
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
To make the lentils, add the chicken broth and bay leaf to a small pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce to a simmer and stir in your lentils. Cover and cook until lentils are just tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain.
When the lentils are just about finished cooking, melt the butter to a large saute pan over low heat. Let cook until it begins to brown slightly, about 4 minutes; it will smell a bit nutty.
Add the lentils and stir until fully coated in the butter. Transfer to a serving platter.
To make the salmon, add 2 tablespoons to a large saute pan over medium heat. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook for 2-4 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through, depending on thickness. Place the salmon fillets on top of the lentils.
Add the tomatoes and garlic to the saute pan and cook until the tomatoes are heated through and the garlic is cooked, about 1 minute. Season with salt.
Top the salmon with the tomato mixture, then sprinkle the basil on top.
These are some amazing lentils. The earthiness of the lentils is balanced out with the brightness of the fresh basil and some acid from the tomatoes.
For such a simple recipe, you’ll be amazed with how much flavor this recipe delivers! I love how bright and colorful it is as well. This will definitely be a staple in my kitchen over the summer months!
Be sure to check out the rest of the awesome recipes in Lei Shishak’s Beach House Dinners: Simple, Summer-Inspired Meals for Entertaining Year-Round, available now on Amazon!