Finished salmon served with ratatouille, peas and hummus
My cooking has been recently influenced by the flavors of the Jerusalem Cookbook. I came upon a fan page of the book on Facebook called Tasting Jerusalem last year and new and exciting tastes have been sneaking into my cooking. I have been doing Moroccan cooking for a while and see that the preserved lemon is a common thread. The recipes in the cookbook are pretty complicated, but they are good. Here is easy way to get the flavors of Jerusalem in a very tasty lemony baked salmon. The complexity of preserved lemon marries well with the richness of the salmon and that touch of honey balances the saltiness perfectly. I hope you enjoy.
1 1/2 lb salmon fillet
1/2 T olive oil, blood orange if available
1 T honey (or a touch more if you like)
Strained Preserved lemon juice has plenty of salt.
Squish the pulp from the preserved lemon through a sieve to get some the juice. You want about 1 – 1 1/2 tsp. Keep in mind, It is very salty so more may not better. Mix that with the oil and honey and drizzle on the fish. Sprinkle with the za’atar and top with the rinsed diced lemon skin (it too is very salty and we have already added the preserved lemon juice).
Notice how the salmon is sliced partway through into serving sized pieces to make serving easy once it is cooked
Bake in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish and how you like it. As soon as I see the white stuff rising I take it out of the oven.
The white proteins on the top of the fish indicate doneness.
You can also grill
the salmon. When I do, I use the wild caught, not the farm raised because the wild caught are generally thinner, have less fat and you don’t have to bother turning them on the grill. It also cooks a lot faster, so keep an eye on it. Get the grill hot and oil it well with paper towels that you hold in really long tongs. Always have water nearby to extinguish flare-ups. The skin may stick to the grill which could be a good or bad thing, depending on whether or not you like the skin. If it does stick you can always turn off the grill, scrape it off and cut it into bit sized pieces and use it to garnish the fish. That way you make it seem like that was what you meant to do. This is one of the keys to stress-free cooking and why my motto is “if at first you don’t succeed, improvise” exists. Enjoy and have fun in the kitchen.
Grilled and Garnished with Lemon Basil
* This is an interesting recipe for Passover if you are Sephardic. If you are Ashkenazi, sesame seeds are not allowed, so just substitute 1/2 tsp sumac and 1/2 tsp thyme for the za’atar.
If you like a little heat and don’t have the Aleppo pepper
, a flavorful, fruity pepper with not a ridiculous amount of heat, add 1/2 tsp of sriracha
to the oil mixture.
Thank you to my nephew Frank for coming up with the great name of the dish.