Satisfied Cravings: Favorite recipes from cookbooks I've reviewed.

Lentil Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche

Makes 8 to 16 servings

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8 ounces small green lentils, rinsed and picked through
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small leek, trimmed, well washed, and roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
20 leaves tarragon
2 eggs
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup heavy cream
½ cup minced parsley
½ cup minced chervil
2 shallots, peeled and minced
About ¼ cup neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
1 cup crème fraiche
8 ounces smoked salmon, thinly sliced

1. Combine the lentils, celery, onion, leek, carrot, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. (Add more water if necessary, but no more than you need.)

2. Remove the thyme and bay leaves; drain the lentils if necessary (they should be fairly dry). Combine in a food processor with the tarragon, eggs, flour, baking powder, and cream; puree, but not until completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the parsley, chervil, and shallots.

3. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet and turn the heat to medium. A minute or two later, drop large tablespoonfuls of the batter into the skillet and cook as you would pancakes, 2 or3 minutes per side. Keep the pancakes warm in a low over (200 degrees F) as you finish them. When the pancakes are done, spread each one with a little crème fraiche, top with a bit of smoked salmon, and serve.