Baking is science and I don't like formulas, but cooking is art and anything goes...and the simpler the better. It's all about less time at the stove and more time at the table. With a forty year passion for food I'm excited to share what I do in the kitchen nearly every day.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Zaatar Salmon with Tahini Lemon Vinaigrette

This is a great dish for July 4th as it can be prepared ahead of time, cooked in the oven or on the barbeque, served hot, cold, or at room temperature, and most importantly, it’s a summer crowd pleaser! I used zaatar which is a Middle Eastern mixture of dried herbs, but you could also use dill, tarragon, basil, thyme, sage or rosemary.

Start with the vinaigrette, these quantities will yield enough for the salmon and a salad to serve it over. Mix together the juice of one and a half to two lemons, two minced garlic cloves, two tablespoons of tahini, a quarter cup extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Adjust the consistency by adding some more oil or even a little bit of warm water.

Next, place your heaviest oven proof frying pan on the stove over medium heat, or on high if you’re cooking on a gas barbeque. Cut a pound and a quarter of salmon into four serving sized pieces, generously salt both sides, then season the top with zaatar. Swirl a teaspoon of vegetable oil around the hot pan to coat the bottom then place the salmon in skin side down.

After approximately four minutes, no need to flip, simply transfer the pan to a preheated 350-degree oven and cook for another five minutes, or until it’s done to your liking. For grill users, turn the burner off under the pan, leave the far burner on medium, and close the lid of the barbeque. Either way, when it’s done be sure to remove the salmon from the pan immediately to prevent it from cooking further.

For the salad, coarsely chop some endive, radicchio, and cucumber, then toss with a handful of kalamata olives, and the dressing…making sure to save some to drizzle over the salmon when serving.

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