Ottolenghi Za’atar Salmon and Tahini

This quick and delicious fish dish teams salmon fillets with Middle Eastern staples za’atar, tahini and sumac.

“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.”

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen’s za’atar salmon and tahini recipe

(serves 4)

4 salmon fillets (600g), skin on and pin bones removed
2tbsp za’atar
2tsp sumac, plus ½tsp extra for sprinkling
60ml olive oil
250g baby spinach
90g tahini
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3½tbsp lemon juice
1½tbsp roughly chopped
Coriander leaves
Salt and black pepper

Za’atar salmon and tahini


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C 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.

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.

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi available from Amazon.

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