Seared fish on lentils

By Michael Bonacini
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  • 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) Umbrian lentils (or substitute with Puy lentils)
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) olive oil
  • 2 small shallots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) raisins
  • 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) prunes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) chopped Italian sundried tomatoes (packed in oil)
  • 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) chopped Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling


  • 4 x 170 gram pickerel fillets, skin on
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) butter, plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) olive oil


For the lentils:

  1. Rinse lentils under cold water. Add lentils to a large pot of boiling water, then lower heat and cover. Cook for 20 minutes or until tender but still toothsome. Remove lentils from heat and drain any excess liquid.
  2. Add olive oil to a saucepan and heat over medium. Add shallots and garlic and cook until translucent. Add raisins, prunes, sundried tomatoes (along with oil), and dry white wine and cook until liquid has reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper. Add lentils to saucepan, then toss with chopped Italian parsley. Cover to retain heat while you cook pickerel.

For the fish:

  1. Dry fillets with paper towel. Season skin side of fillets with salt and pepper. Add butter and olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium until butter starts to foam. Add fillets, skin side down, pressing gently to ensure full contact with hot skillet. Season top side of fish and cook for three to four minutes. Flip fish and cook for another two to three minutes or until flesh is opaque and easily flakes with fork. 

To combine:

  1. Divide lentils between serving dishes, drizzle with fragrant extra virgin olive oil, and top with pickerel fillet. Garnish with chopped parsley.


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