Hot Smoked Eel With a Salad of Potatoes, Puy Lentils and Seaweed Tartare

This artisan recipe combines sophisticated ingredients to make a stylish dinner party dish.


  • 100 g smoked eel
  • 1 or two firm waxy potatoes per person (cooked and sliced)
  • 60 g puy lentils
  • 20 g capers (esp the 'al sale marino' ones -in sea-salt)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablsepoon seaweed releish
  • 2 gherkins (cornichons)
  • 1 tsp grain mustard
  • 1 tbs crème fraiche
  • lemon juice of half a lemon
  • coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 slices smoked pancetta
  • watercress or rocket for garnish


  1. Make the sauce by combining the crème fraiche, mustard and lemon juice with the finely chopped gherkins, crushed garlic and capers. Add black pepper to taste.
  2. Cook the lentils in boiling salted water until tender, drain and keep warm. Boil the potatoes at the same time in their skins, drain and slice thinly.
  3. Quickly pan-fry the pancetta, remove from the pan and add the smoked eel. This will cook very quickly and contains its own oil though the pancetta should have rendered enough to cook it. Remove and place to one side.
  4. Place the watercress on a plate and arrange the sliced warm potatoes in a circle on top; add the lentils to the pan with the pancetta and eel oils and quickly stir to absorb these flavours. Sprinkle the lentils over the potatoes.
  5. Place the eel on top of this salad. Spoon the seaweed tartare over this and the pancetta on top. Serve immediately.


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