There is great value to having some ready to use spices in your house when you want to pull a dinner together quickly. This Za’atar Salmon with Cous Cous recipe was flavored using the Middle Eastern spice known as Za’atar. I have to admit that I did not know exactly what spices make up Za’atar so I looked it up. Za’atar is generally made up of ground thyme, oregano, marjoram, sesame seeds, salt, sumac and sometimes cumin, coriander or fennel. The more interesting thing I learned is that many consider Za’atar to by hyssop – a spice mentioned in the bible. That’s cool.
The za’atar was used as a spice rub for the salmon and then to spice the cous cous. Additional flavor was added through roasting the asparagus and tomatoes and finishing these vegetables in a sauté pan. The other spices used in this dish include red pepper flakes, dried basil, dried parsley and Spanish smoked season salt. After the cous cous was cooked in water, it was added to the sauté pan to put a light pan fry on it and to absorb the spices.
The salmon is simply spiced with the rub, and then, cooked in a cast iron skillet. As you have learned in many of my salmon posts, the salmon is actually started in the cast iron skillet and finished in the oven. It is a sure fire method to create a salmon that is super moist and has a good sear on one side.
- 1 1/2 pounds salmon
- 2 - 3 tablespoons Za'atar seasoning
- 2 teaspoons Spanish Smoked Sea Salt
- 1 cup tri-colored cous cous
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 12 grape tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the ends off the asparagus.
- Add the asparagus and tomatoes to a baking tray.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.
- Bake for about 12 minutes.
- Add the stock and the another cup of water to a pot.
- Add the cous cous and bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer with a lid on.
- Cook for 8 minutes until mostly done.
- Heat a saute pan with the 2nd tablespoon of olive oil and add the tomatoes and dried herbs.
- Cook for a few more minutes until the tomatoes blister.
- Add the cous cous to the saute pan.
- Also, cut the asparagus into 1 1/2" spears and add to pan.
- Mix well.
- Cut the salmon into fillets.
- Pat dry and the Za'atar and smoked sea salt to the fish.
- Add the oil to a cast iron skillet on medium high heat.
- Add the fish flesh side down and sear for 3 minutes.
- Flip the fish and place in a 325 degree oven and cook for 10 minutes.
- Assemble the dish by placing the fish on top of the cous cous.
- Serve and enjoy!
The salmon cut into fillets and then spiced with the za’atar.
The tomatoes and herbs added to the skillet followed with the addition of the cous cous and the asparagus.
The za’atar salmon with cous cous plated.