Salmon in Chermoula with Couscous

Some time ago, American Express used to send me Food and Wine cookbooks and I just stacked them in a corner, never really using them for inspiration.  At some point in the Fall, I started leafing through and have since found some amazing recipes that we’ve been cooking over and over again.  One of these has been this delicious salmon recipe.


We LOVE salmon – or rather, the “ocean trout” that we get at our grocery store that happens to look like salmon and in my opinion actually tastes better than salmon.  So when we found this Michael Solomonov recipe for salmon in our book (surprising that it is *not* in our Zahav book) we had to try it!


The mushroom sauce is perhaps not the prettiest thing, but oh my goodness so delicious.  As they say, can’t judge taste by its looks!


  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Four 5-ounce skinless salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous (6 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Spanish onion
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water


  1. PREPARE THE SALMONIn a blender, puree the cilantro, canola oil, garlic, ginger, paprika, salt, turmeric and cumin until smooth. Pour the marinade into a resealable plastic bag, add the salmon and seal the bag. Turn to coat the fish and refrigerate overnight.
  2. MAKE THE TAHINI SAUCEIn a small skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the mushrooms are well browned, 10 minutes. Scrape the mushrooms and garlic into a blender and let cool. Add the tahini, lemon juice and 1/3 cup of water and puree until smooth. Stir in the dill and season with salt.
  3. PREPARE THE COUSCOUSIn a medium saucepan, toast the couscous over moderate heat, tossing, until golden, 10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. In the same saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and a pinch each of cinnamon and salt and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the toasted couscous and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then stir in the tomato puree. Add the warm water 1/2 cup at a time and stir constantly over moderately low heat, allowing the liquid to be absorbed between additions, until the couscous is al dente, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and keep warm; add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water if the couscous seems dry.
  4. PREPARE THE COUSCOUSLight a grill or preheat a grill pan. Scrape the marinade off the salmon, season the fish with salt and grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and nearly cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon the couscous onto plates, top with the salmon, drizzle with the tahini sauce and serve.


The tahini sauce can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Peach-scented, full-bodied French white like Viognier.

From Food and Wine, Michael Solomonov’s Salmon in Chermoula

Roasted Salmon with Kimchi

Sometimes (okay about once a week) I get a craving for Korean food but am generally too lazy to make an entire pot of soup or go to Koreatown.  Matt also Loves eating salmon (yes, with the capital “L”) and so I was excited to find a recipe that had Kimchi AND salmon.  I was a little worried the fusion might not work so well, but the result was so good that it made the cut to be added to the weeknight dinner rotation.


This recipe uses a red pepper paste that is often present in a Korean meal, sometimes just eaten straight with cucumbers (and if you read my previous post on the wonders of Kaluystan’s, you’ll be pleased to note they even sell this paste!)


I made this recipe and then topped it with this recipe for brown rice and kale from Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter and together it was not only gorgeous, but also very healthy and filling dinner.


  • 4 fillets of salmon (6 oz/170 g each)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped kimchi
  • 1 tbsp Korean chili paste (gochujang)
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green onions
  • thinly cut dried seaweed (optional, for garnish)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Place salmon pieces skin side down in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Combine kimchi, gochujang, soy sauce and olive oil and brush over salmon. Marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness of salmon, or until still slightly pink in centre.
  4. Garnish each portion of salmon with cilantro and green onions, and dried seaweed if you have it.
  5. Serve over brown rice!

Adapted from the Globe and Mail Roasted Korean salmon

Light Salmon Salad

Sometimes all this cooking means that I end up feeling like I just need something very light and healthy, and at those times this very simple salmon salad hits the spot.  We had one of those weekends where we met up with friends and ate delicious Korean BBQ, but of course this meant that we felt stuffed even the next day and needed something to cleanse the palate.


While I love making salad, it always feels like a “boring” dish to make, so I started avoiding making it as a main when Matt and I got married.  I assumed that Matt would need to have hearty, large meals, but had forgotten that this was healthy Matt we were talking about.  After he asked me the other day about why we weren’t making salads anymore, I decided to put this back into the rotation.  Is it very exciting and amazing and new? Not really, but sometimes the simple dish is all you need for a workday dinner.


1 lb salmon
1/2 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced (optional)
parmesan cheese for grating
slivered almonds (even better if toasted)
1 tsp bread crumbs
salt, pepper
1 bunch of arugula
1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Put salmon flesh side up on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle about 1 tsp of bread crumbs, and a dash of salt and pepper.  Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. While salmon is baking, take a medium sized bowl and toss the arugula with fennel, shaved parmesan, lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Serve on a dish and top with salmon, and serve.

Serves 2