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salmon with barley and lentils

Salmon on a Duet of Barley & Lentils

Salmon on a Duet of Barley & Lentils - Simon Gault, Chef, restaurateur and Masterchef New Zealand judge

Serves 6 GF

Bio: Simon enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for cooking food and getting people excited to get into the kitchen and give it a go.


75g pearl barley
900ml vegetable stock
75g Puy lentils
50ml extra virgin olive oil
180g shallots, finely chopped
½ carrot, peeled & diced
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled & grated
½ stick of celery, diced
300ml vegetable stock
¼ cup Madeira
450g tomatoes
40g unsalted butter
6 tsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp flaky salt
100ml vegetable stock, extra


450g plain unsweetened yoghurt
9 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
2 tbsp fresh lime juice


6 x 200g portions Akaroa Salmon, skin on, boned
1 tsp flaky salt
¼ tsp ground white pepper
50ml extra virgin olive oil
fresh coriander, to garnish

Simon says, “Most fish taste best when they flake and are opaque. Salmon and trout are the exception to the rule, where they taste better on the rare side, when the centre is still translucent.”

Barley & Lentils

Soak the barley overnight in cold water, then drain. Divide the 900ml of vegetable stock evenly between two saucepans, place the lentils in one and the soaked barley in the other. Allow the lentils to simmer for 12 - 15 minutes, and the barley will take about 20 - 25 minutes on a slightly higher heat. Once cooked, strain both saucepans reserving the stock for use later. Then mix together the barley and lentils before setting aside.
Blanch, peel, de-seed and dice the tomatoes.

In a saucepan, heat the oil to a shimmer. Add the shallots, carrot, ginger, celery and cook without colouring for 4 minutes over a medium-high heat. Add the lentils, barley, 300ml vegetable stock, Madeira and tomatoes, bring to a gentle simmer. Whisk in the butter until absorbed, then add the coriander, pepper and salt. Use the reserved vegetable stock to adjust the consistency of the barley and lentil mix only if it’s too dry.

Coriander yoghurt

In a bowl, mix together the yoghurt, coriander and lime juice.


Dry the skin-side of the salmon with paper towels. Score the salmon skin lengthways with the tip of a sharp knife, just piercing the skin. Season the salmon with the salt and pepper.
Heat the oil to a shimmer in a saute pan. Carefully place the salmon skin-side down into the pan and allow the skin to crisp for 3-4 minutes. Test the salmon by gently prising the flesh apart with a fork and looking inside, remembering the fish will continue to cook after it’s removed from the heat. So remove the fish from the saute pan just before done and set on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

To serve

Divide the barley and lentil mix between six heated plates. Place the cooked salmon on top of the barley lentil mix. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with the coriander yoghurt.


Purchase your copy of The Food Connection which features this beautiful recipe from our factory shop in Christchurch. This cookbook was created by the Cancer Society Canterbury-West Coast Division and has some incredible recipes from well know NZ Chefs. We are proud to support this great cause and hope that you do to.
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