Fish/ Recipe

Salmon Lentil Puttanesca

What’s the oddest food you can think of? What’s it called? Where did it get that name? What’s in a name?
Lentil Puttanesca - Lentil Recipe - She Eats
I’m sure there are plenty of answers for that one. 
A word is just really a collection of blubbery sounds without significance. For a word to resonate we have to tie an understanding – if not value – to it. Right? What we call something – or someone – is bound up in all sorts of connotations that can mean very different things for many different people.
Lentil Puttanesca - Lentil Recipe - She Eats
Why all this preposterous rambling? It’s directly linked to today’s recipe.
Lentil Puttanesca - Lentil Recipe - She Eats
Did you know that “puttanesca” comes from the phrase “like a prostitute”? I don’t care for that label because I believe it’s endowed with stigmatic judgements that get tied to someone’s identity. Sex work on the other hand is just that – work. So can we say instead, “like a sex-worker”? Or would that then change the title of this recipe to Salmon “Suttanesca”?
Aye. Who invited the Feminist to the party anyhow? I’ll stop.

Lentil Puttanesca - Lentil Recipe - She Eats

I’m not sure how “like a prostitute” managed to find culmination in a sauce – perhaps it had something to do with the peasant-like combination of the dish – either way, I’m thankin’ the ladies! Especially since puttanesca found its way into lentils. Mmmmm lentils.

Lentils are a fabulous, nutritious and wholesome way to get more protein and veggie goodness into your day. And who doesn’t need more fabulous, nutritious and wholesome protein and veggie goodness? Not me! That’s for sure. This recipe for salmon lentil puttanesca is simple, delicious and oh so pretty. Prepare the lentils the night before and it makes for an easy peasy weeknight meal but more importantly, it tastes fantastic!

P.S. While we’re on the topic, name your first pet & the street you grew up on – that’s your sex worker name. Ow ow!
Lentil Puttanesca - Lentil Recipe - She Eats

Salmon Lentil Puttanesca




Yield 4 servings


  • 1 C Water
  • 1/2 C Dried Green or Brown Lentils, rinsed.
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced.
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic,
  • 1 C Canned Tomatoes, diced.
  • 2 Tbsp Capers, rinsed.
  • 1/4 C Kalamata Olives, pitted & roughly chopped.
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes.
  • 1 Preserved Lemon, rinsed, pulp removed & julienned.
  • 1/2 Lemon for Juice.
  • 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar.
  • Small Handful of Basil, julienne.
  • Small Handful of Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, roughly chopped.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
  • 4 Skin-on Salmon Fillets, pin bones removed. See here for guidelines on buying happy salmon.


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan add the water and lentils over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 15-25 minutes or until just cooked and still holding their shape. Drain and set aside.Pat the salmon dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper. In a large non-stick saute pan, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot - but not smoking - add the salmon fillets skin side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until skin is crispy, turn, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Place fillets in a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack and put in the oven.
  3. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil to the same pan over high heat. When the oil is hot - again, not smoking - add the onions, capers, olives, and preserved lemons. Stir often until the onions are just beginning to caramelize.
  4. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, continuing to saute for 2 more minutes.
  5. Stir in tomatoes, red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Reduced the heat to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add the lentils, taste, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Remove from the heat and combine with the basil and parsley.
  7. Dish up and top with the salmon. Serve with a wedge of lemon.
  8. Eat.
Lentil Puttanesca - Lentil Recipe - She Eats
  • Annie Smith
    March 19, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Mmm Mmm! Cracking me up with your PC food talk. Ha!

    Cuddles Resseguie would be my name! how hilarious!

    • Kristy Lynn
      March 24, 2012 at 7:59 AM

      HAHAHA cuddles Resseguie!

  • Anna @ hiddenponies
    March 20, 2012 at 5:11 AM

    Huh, thank you for the interesting education! I plan to pull that one out at my next puttanesca party and wow everyone 🙂

    • Kristy Lynn
      March 24, 2012 at 7:59 AM

      you have puttanesca parties??? can i come?

  • Teresa,
    March 20, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    This is beautiful! The photos, the recipe and the idea. I like that you left the skin on the salmon which helps hold it together and adds lots of flavor when cooking. Kudos to you for adding lentils!

    • Kristy Lynn
      March 24, 2012 at 7:59 AM

      thank you Teresa! Honestly, salmon skin on just makes it better.

  • France@beyondthepeel
    March 22, 2012 at 6:08 AM

    I really like a good puttanesca, pasta especially. I’d love to try it with salmon. Mine is Tuxedo Calypso. So bad…

    • Kristy Lynn
      March 24, 2012 at 8:00 AM

      HAHA – I love it!

  • Miz Helen
    March 24, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your great recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great Spring week end and come back to see me real soon!
    Miz Helen

    • Kristy Lynn
      March 27, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      this week IS a great Spring week! 🙂 thanks for stopping by!

  • The 21st Century Housewife©
    March 24, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    It turns out I am Susie Krug!

    On a more serious note, what a wonderful recipe! It looks so fresh and healthy and I love puttanesca – which I will always now think of as suttanesca 🙂 sauce! I like how you served it over the lentils as well.

    • Kristy Lynn
      March 27, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      HAHAHA that’s a TERRIBLE name! haha….

  • Nebraska Pheasant Hunting and Kennel
    November 24, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    I think this is definitely the quickest meal in my routine!

    • Kristy Gardner
      March 31, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      That’s great!!! I’m glad you enjoyed it!