Pair salmon with za’atar and tahini for a real treat

The ingredients in this dish are some of the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen’s favourites, so you know it’s going to be good, says Katie Wright

Sunday 10 October 2021 07:30

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,” say chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad.

“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.”

Za’atar salmon and tahini

Serves: 4


4 salmon fillets (600g), skin on and pin bones removed

2 tbsp za’atar

2 tsp sumac, plus ½ tsp extra for sprinkling

60ml olive oil

250g baby spinach

90g tahini

3 garlic cloves, crushed

3½ tbsp lemon juice

1½ tbsp roughly chopped

Coriander leaves

Salt and black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 220C fan.

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.

(Elena Heatherwick/PA)

3. Place a large ovenproof sauté pan on a medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the spinach and a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook for two to three minutes, until just wilted.

4. Top with the salmon, skin side down, and drizzle the top of the fish with two tablespoons of oil. Bake for five minutes.

5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the tahini, garlic, two-and-a-half tablespoons of lemon juice, a good pinch of salt and 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 five minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the tahini is bubbling. Spoon over the remaining tablespoon each of lemon juice and oil and top with the coriander and extra sumac.

Recipe extracted from ‘Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love’ by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi (published by Ebury Press, £25; photography by Elena Heathrwick).

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