With the heat this summer I’ve been hesitant to turn on my oven for any reason at all, and so we’ve been eating a lot of salads recently (you might have noticed), hummus, mutabbal, and so on. I grew up near the sea, though – and despite living an eighteen (yes, eighteen, I know – this pains me) hour drive from any ocean I am obsessed with seafood. I was craving fish, and when I saw these salmon fillets at the store I figured only having my oven on for 15 minutes or so was perfectly acceptable in exchange for flaky, rich salmon for dinner.
This dish is very simple and quick to prepare (perfect for when you don’t want your oven on for long, heating your house) and is also wonderful grilled if you have access to one (we don’t, currently). I served it on a plate covered in a lemony orzo salad with summer squash, preserved lemon, and mint. The bright, lemony salad is the perfect compliment to the richness of the fish and butter. Za’atar is pretty essential to this dish, and you can find it at most spice retailers these days, but also online. You’ll want to cook your salmon for fifteen minutes or so (ours was quite thin) but if yours is thicker, you’ll want to go a little longer – 18 to 20 minutes, or until a thermometer registers a 120°F (49°C) internal temperature.
(The recipe for the orzo salad shown in the photograph is here.)
Wild Caught Salmon with Za’atar Butter
- Sheet pan large enough for your fish
- 1½-2 lb filet of salmon (680-900g)
- 2 Tbsp good salted butter
- 1 Tbsp za'atar spice
- ½ tsp garlic powder (or 2 tsp toum)
- ½ tsp coarse sea salt
- ½ tsp coarsely ground white pepper (or black pepper)
- lemon slices for garnish (optional)
- ¼ tsp Aleppo pepper for garnish (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Melt your butter and add your za'atar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub or brush this mixture on to your salmon and place onto a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Garnish the salmon with lemon slices and Aleppo pepper flakes if desired.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 120°F (49°C). Remove from the pan and serve.