Middle Eastern

Za’atar Salmon & Tahini From Ottolenghi Test Kitchen

November 17, 2021
5 Stars
Author Notes

If you haven’t yet paired fish with tahini, then you’re in for a real treat. This version combines tahini with herbaceous za’atar and sour sumac, our ever familiar but much treasured test kitchen staples. We strongly recommend using creamy, nutty tahini that’s sourced from countries within the Levant. Eat this shortly after cooking, as cooked tahini doesn’t sit or reheat very well. —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

Recipe excerpted with permission from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi, published by Clarkson Potter © 2021. —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Za’atar Salmon & Tahini From Ottolenghi Test Kitchen
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • 4 salmon fillets (1 lb 5 oz/ 600g), skin on and pin bones removed
  • 2 tablespoons za’atar
  • 2 teaspoons sumac, plus 1/2 teaspoon more for sprinkling
  • 4 tablespoons (60 millileters) olive oil
  • 9 ounces (250 grams) baby spinach or other tender green of choice
  • 1/3 cup (90 grams) tahini
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Pat dry the salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the za’atar and sumac, then sprinkle this all over the top of the salmon to create a crust.
  3. Place a large, oven-safe sauté pan on medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the spinach and a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until wilted.
  4. Top with the salmon, skin side down, and drizzle the top of the fish with 2 tablespoons of oil. Bake for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the tahini, garlic, 21⁄2 tablespoons of lemon juice, a good pinch of salt, and 7 tablespoons/100ml of water until smooth and quite runny.
  6. When ready, remove the pan from the oven and pour the tahini all around the salmon (but not on the fish at all). Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the tahini is bubbling. Spoon the remaining 1 tablespoon each of lemon juice and oil over everything and top with the cilantro and extra sumac.
  7. Make it your own:

    – Swap out the salmon for other sustainably caught fish, adjusting cooking times as needed.
    – Use other leafy greens in place of spinach, such as kale or chard.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • pamela
  • salena

2 Reviews

pamela November 21, 2021
not a review but questions:
wouldn't the spinach cook under the salmon anyway?
why not put skin up w/ zaatar for that crispy skin?
salena November 19, 2021
What a wonderful and unexpected way to cook salmon. I used dill instead of cilantro because that's what I had. Delicious and easy.