Grilled Salmon with Za'atar and Lemon
The aromatic Middle Eastern blend known as za’atar, typically a mixture of ground sumac, sesame seeds and other spices and herbs, is infinitely versatile, delicious sprinkled on everything from grilled meats, roasted vegetables to a bowl of hummus. Here we sprinkle homemade za’atar over a whole side of salmon before grilling, then finish the dish with charred lemon slices and a shower of summery herbs for bright flavor.
- Canola oil for brushing
- 1 skin-on whole side of salmon, about 3 lb. (1.5 kg)
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 Tbs. ground sumac
- 1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 lemons, thinly sliced
- 1 cup packed mixed fresh herb leaves, such as dill, mint, parsley and thyme
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill, or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the grill grates or grill pan with canola oil.
Rub the salmon on both sides with the olive oil. In a small bowl, stir together the sumac, sesame seeds, coriander, cumin, thyme, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Sprinkle evenly over both sides the salmon.
Place the salmon, skin side down, on the grill and arrange the lemon slices around it. Cook for 10 minutes, then, using a spatula, carefully flip the salmon and lemon slices. Continue cooking until the salmon reaches the desired doneness, about 5 minutes for medium-rare, and the lemon slices are lightly charred.
Using 2 large spatulas, carefully transfer the salmon to a serving platter. Drizzle with olive oil, top with the herbs and grilled lemon slices and serve. Serves 6 to 8.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen