Za’atar Crusted Salmon Baked in Tahini

“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.”

Read: 10 meal ideas to make with a can of chickpeas

Serves: 4


  • 4 salmon fillets (600g), skin on and pin bones removed
  • 2 tablespoons za’atar
  • 2 teaspoons sumac, plus 1/2 teaspoon extra for sprinkling
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 250g baby spinach
  • 90g tahini
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 31/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 11/2 tablespoons roughly chopped
  • coriander leaves
  • salt and black pepper


Preheat the oven to 220°C fan.

Pat the salmon dry 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.

Read: Rosemary and Basil Eggplant in Za’atar

Place a large ovenproof sauté pan on 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.

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

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.

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.

Read: Salmon and Herb Butter

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi, photography by Elena Heatherwick, is published by Ebury Press, available now.

Do you like the taste of tahini? Have you ever tried it with salmon? Please let us know how the recipe works out for you in the comments section below.

– With PA

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YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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