Orange Salmon with Black Lentils and Zucchini

As the New Year approaches, we express our wishes for many good things to happen in 2023. One of the wishes I’m sure is on the list of millions of people around the planet is to become wealthy, or at least improve their household’s cashflow.

Well, in Italy we have one infallible method to obtain this desired result: eating lots (and I mean lots) of lentils on New Year’s night (and through the whole New Year’s Day). Lentils are symbolizing small coins, and the tradition says that the more lentils you eat the richer you will become. So, people start the year – and I mean literally at midnight – by eating lenticchie and cotechino, lentils with a kind of boiled pork meatloaf that is very flavorful, but also on the fatty side.

As habits are changing, I suggest substituting the cotechino with this elegant and more healthy salmon recipe, that you can offer on January 1st as your financial well-wishing dish (and why not, also health wise speaking, given the perfect balance of this preparation) for the year to come.

Black lentils, also called Beluga for their stunning similarity to caviar, are a variety of this very large legume family. They are cultivated in Southern Italy, Apulia and Sicily, since centuries. Very nutritious in terms of carbs and proteins, rich in fiber, lentils are generally inexpensive, have a distinguished taste and texture, are versatile, easy and moreover fast to cook, contrary to other legumes. Lentils don’t need soaking and are ready in 20 minutes.

The benefits of eating fish at least a couple of times a week have become public knowledge. The choice between wild caught and farmed fish is still very debated. Generally speaking, and for everyday consumption, I opt for high quality, sustainably farmed fish. The salmon I used for this recipe is Faroe Islands Salmon, that offers great taste and quality under a strict legislation to ensure fish welfare, veterinary control and zero use of antibiotics, paired with respect for the environment.


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For 4 Servings

1 cup Carnaroli rice
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 tablespoons of EV Olive Oil
½ glass of white table wine
1 pint chicken stock preprepared (or vegetable stock)
1 cup rinsed blueberries
1 cup roasted chestnuts or more, chopped in big pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese (optional)