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Cookbook review: Cowgirl Chef by Ellise Pierce

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Somehow a Texas girl in cowboy boots, plaid shirt, and a carefully draped silk scarf cooking up a storm in a tiny French apartment works. If anything, you’ll feel like a good gal-pal has told you to pull up a chair and eat. You’ll be glad you did.

I decided to try Pierce’s recipe for Salmon and Lentils. She says they are good anytime, even though in France, lentils “are mostly a winter thing.” I loved this dish with its hearty lentils, creamy goat cheese, topped with poached salmon, roasted pine nuts, and cherry tomatoes. If you’ve prepared your lentils ahead of time, it’s the perfect quick, one-dish meal.

Can I say it? Bon appétit, y’all!

From “Cowgirl Chef” by Ellise Pierce
(Running Press, 2012)
Reprinted with permission

Salmon and Lentils

Makes 2 servings

I love this dish best in the summer, served at room temperature, but you may also eat this warm.

1/2 cup/120 ml of dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay [editor's note: substitute cooking wine]

2 5-ounce/150 gram salmon fillets

2 pieces of lemon zest, each about 3 inches/7.5 cm long

1 teaspoon of peppercorns

a sprig of fresh basil, plus a few leaves for serving

sea salt

2 cups/ 470 grams of cooked French Lentils (recipe follows)

a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons of fresh goat cheese

a small handful of pine nuts, toasted

balsamic vinegar, for serving (optional)

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