Running to Stand Still: Toasted quinoa, lentil and poached salmon salad

My first reblog (aka steal)… made this last night, delish. My favourite part was when the quinoa popped! Thanks Sylvia!


In his book, Notes on a Small Island, Bill Bryson, who I revere and adore, laid claim to the title “Lord Lather of Indecision”. If you haven’t read it yet, sort that out. I’d loan you mine, but it is precious because SIGNED COPY:


Anyway, my point is that if I had a title, it would be something along the lines of Princess Procrastinate of Dither. Decisions do not come easily to me and I will avoid making them in as many ways possible (for example). However, the big birthday of the year is just around the corner and I need to put down the book and start making decisions. What to do, where to go, what to say, what to think. Ideally, I would have a very bossy opinionated Personal Assistant to say “Do this”, “Apply for that”, “Go there”, “Talk to him”, “Stop doing that”, “Wear this”…

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Paprika Cod with Chorizo and Puy lentils

Come Dine with me, by Jane and Gill

Well – we tried. We tried to have our own Come Dine with Me experience.

Unfortunately, we were the only episode if I recall correctly.

But the food was good – if I do say so myself.  It was my first real experience of lentils and I’ve made that part of the dish several times since on it’s own as it was so easy and tasty!

We also served it with mashed potatoes.  There was an almost disaster there which involved using a hand held blender and finishing the cooking in the microwave – lesson is: Always make sure you have enough time to fully steam your spuds!

For the Puy Lentils

  • 200g Puy Lentils
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 3tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 small (or 1 large) spicy chorizo sausage, thickly sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black papper
  • dash red wine vinegar

For the cucumber garnish

  • 1 large cucumber, skin removed, flesh cut into ribbons using a vegetable peeler, seeds disgarded
  • salt

For the cod

  • 1kg cod fillet, skin on
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2tsp paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • knob of butter

For the dressing

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  1. For the Puy lentils, preheat the girll to its highest setting
  2. Place the lentils into a measuring jug and note thier volume.  Place them into a pan.  Ad the chicken stock to the measuring jug and top up with enough water to bring the volume of liquid to double that of the lentils.  Add the liquid to the pan with the lentils.
  3. Bring the lentils to the boil and cook for 20 – 25 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and chorizo and fry until the onions have softened and the chorizo is golden brown.  SEason, to taste, with salt and pepper, then set aside.
  5. Drain the lentils, return them to the pan and stir through the cooked onion, garlic and chorizo, as well as the red wine vinegar.
  6. For the cucumber garnish, place the cucumber ribbons in a sieve or colander to drain, sprinkle generously with salt and cover with kitchen paper and a plate.  Set aside for 20 minutes.
  7. For the cod, make slashes in the skin of the cod using a sharp knife.  Mix the olive oil, paprika and seasoning together in a small bowl.
  8. Melt the butter in an ovenproof frying pan and add the cod, flesh-side down.  Fry for exactly two minutes.
  9. While the cod is cooking, pour over the oil and paprika mixture, then season the skin of teh cod with the salt.
  10. Transfer the cod to the grill and cook for 6 minutes (or less, depending on the thickness of the cod fillet), until the cod is just cooked through and the skin is crisp.
  11. For the dressing, mix together all of the dressing ingredients until well combined.
  12. Just before serving, place the cucumber ribbons into a bowl.  Pour the dressing onto the drained cucumber ribbons and mix to coat thoroughly.