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Baked Barramundi with Braised Lentils

Healthy Without Being Boring. Earthy lentils braised in white wine and broth become the perfect base for buttery and tender baked barramundi fillets. Peppery arugula and salty crispy bacon bits round out the meal.

Prep Time

        Prep and cook time: 20 minutes
        Yield: Serves 4


    •    salt
    •    kosher salt
    •    1/4 cup water
    •    1 sprig rosemary
    •    1 sprig fresh thyme
    •    2 tbsps tomato paste
    •    2 garlic clove, minced
    •    about half cup of white wine
    •    6 ounces bacon, thick diced
    •    2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
    •    4 x barramundi fillets, thawed
    •    1 onion, medium size, finely diced
    •    1 celery stalk, large, finely chopped
    •    3.5 cups chicken broth or vegetable
    •    1 carrot, medium size, finely chopped
    •    5 oz baby arugula clamshell, washed and dried
    •    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tbsps extra for brushing fish fillets
    •    1 cup puy lentils, lentilles du puy, picked over for stones and rinsed well


  1. Heat a large skillet or saucepan over high heat. Add the diced bacon and water, stirring occasionally to separate the pieces. Allow water to boil and evaporate, then lower heat to medium and continue cooking bacon in the rendered fat — about 3-5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon, letting any excess fat drop back into the pan, and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Set aside.
  2. Add the diced onion, carrot, celery and a hefty pinch of salt to the pan. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30-60 seconds.
  3. Add the rinsed and drained lentils to the pan. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, until they become nutty and fragrant. Stir in tomato paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes to caramelize, then add the white wine and stir until tomato paste dissolves.
  4. Add the broth and stir well, scraping up any brown bits that have formed at the bottom of the pan, then add the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Bring to a rolling boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover with a pan lid or aluminum foil and allow to cook for 30 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn heat to medium-high, then continue to cook until lentils are al dente — about five more minutes. Stir well and set aside, covered, for ten minutes. (Don’t worry if there seems to be too much liquid in the pot – the lentils will absorb it as they rest.)
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment or lightly greased aluminum foil. Place thawed barramundi fillets on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or just until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  6. Remove the rosemary and thyme sprigs from the lentils and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste, stirring well.
  7. In a small bowl gently toss the arugula with ¼ cup olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a pinch of high quality finishing salt (if you don’t have finishing salt, kosher salt will do).
  8. To serve, divide the lentils between four dinner plates. Place a barramundi fillet over the lentils. Top each fillet with some of the arugula, then sprinkle the crispy bacon bits over the top. Serve immediately.

This great family recipe is thanks to The Better Fish at


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