Salmon with Crab Pastillas and Spiced Puy Lentils.

Salmon with Crab Pastillas and Spiced Puy Lentils.

Salmon with Crab Pastillas and Spiced Lentils


This dish came originally from a starter I had many years ago. I was amazed at how I had  a perfectly round salmon fillet rather than a flat piece. I finally found out how they did it and hence this dish was born. The lentils are flavoured with soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce. Hence, with differing cuisines vying for position on the plate and went the full hog and introduced another region with the baba ghanoush and pastillas.

The simple trick of the salmon is to place two parts of the fillet together and wrap tightly in cling film. As they cook the proteins tighten up and stick together, magic really.[purerecipe]



  • Fillet, middle cut weighing at least 600g
  • Lots Cling Film
  • Spiced Lentils

  • 300g Puy Lentils
  • 1, finely chopped Red Onion
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • Squeeze Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped Coriander
  • Herbed Creme Fraiche

  • 200g Creme Fraiche
  • 1 Tbsp each Mint, Parsley, Coriander
  • Crab Pastilla

  • 4 leaves Filo Pastry
  • 150g Crab
  • 250g Ricotta
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tsp Curry Powder
  • Baba Ghanoush

  • 2 Aubergine
  • 2 Tbsp Tahini
  • Squeeze Lemon Juice
  • 1 Clove crushed Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley


  1. Firstly prepare the salmon. Skin the fillet and then cut it into two straight down the middle. Turn one piece upside down so you have a thicker end next to a thinner end. Wrap tightly in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least five hours.
  2. For the baba ghanoush, split the aubergines in half. Heat the grill to its hottest setting and char the aubergines on the skin side only. Scoop out the flesh, add to a blender with the rest of the ingredients and puree. Set aside until needed.
  3. Make the pastillas. Mix all the ingredients except the pastry together. Lay one piece of filo out onto the table top, brush with melted butter/oil. Add a thick sausage amount of filling and roll up as a parcel. Brush with butter/oil and place on a baking tray. Repeat four times and cover with cling film until needed. To cook, fry in some butter/oil for 2 minutes a side until each side goes brown.
  4. For the lentils, wash and boil as per packet instructions. Drain. Soften the onion and garlic in a large pan. Add the cooked lentils and stir in the remaining ingredients. Season with black pepper and taste. Again this can be cooked ahead of time and reheated.
  5. Cut the salmon into 5cm cylinders, cook for 3 minutes a side over a medium heat with the cling film on.
  6. For the herbed creme fraiche, blend all the herbs with the cream.
Serve and garnish with pea shoots.


  1. Thanks for the magic tip with the salmon, I’ll try it next time. Maybe it would work with other types of fish too?

    • Dave Crichton

      It will work with any fish, Sofia. I think it’s even more impressive to do it with smaller fish and leave the skin on. It then looks like you’ve magically extracted the bones!

  2. Dave Crichton

    Thanks Shashi, the lentils were actually the star of the show so start by trying them.

  3. This dish looks amazing. I don’t know what part I like best the salmon, coriander cream, or the lentils. I have been making salmon in my kitchen this week too. Have a super weekend. BAM

  4. Another beautiful dinner, David. Thank you for the tip about the fish. I don’t know what is wrong but I’m still not getting emails of when you do a new post. Good thing I decided to stop by today. 🙂

  5. Your dishes never cease to amaze me David, such a production with all the components. Do you make some of the parts in advance? It always comes together so wonderfully and it definitely makes me want to taste it. The herbed creme fraiche definitely adds a burst of colour to this lovely dish, nicely done!

  6. I love salmon in just about any incarnation, and this seems like a truly wonderful combination of flavours and textures. Love the way you have brought a variety of different cuisines together on one plate.

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