Tahini and Honey-Poached Salmon
Tahini and fish almost always go together in the Levant. However, an uncooked tahini sauce is usually served alongside other mezze dishes on the final table. I like to simmer tahini and honey, which quickly reduce into a delicious sauce. While I used to poach the salmon in the sauce, I now prefer to sear it to get a nice crispy, golden crust. This is a simple dish that will leave a lasting impression.
- 1/3 cup (70 g) tahini paste
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) lemon juice (juice of about 2 large lemons)
- 1 tablespoon (21 g) honey
- 1 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
- 4 salmon fillets (20–24 oz [570–680 g])
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Pomegranate seeds
- Pine nuts, toasted
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Pomegranate molasses
Mix the tahini, lemon juice, honey, ¼ teaspoon of salt and water until smooth and set aside.
Season each salmon fillet with ¼ teaspoon of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil. When the oil is hot, place the salmon pieces, skin side up, in the pan. Cook the fish for 3 minutes, reduce the heat to medium, gently flip the salmon, and cook it for another 4 minutes. Remove it from the heat and set it aside.
Add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of olive oil to the pan and stir in the onion. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the prepared tahini sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
Arrange the salmon fillets on the sauce and cook for another minute or two.
Serve with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, parsley, and pomegranate molasses.
Reprinted with permission from Mediterranea by Hanady Nabut. Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. Photo credit: Hanady Nabut.
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