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Singlefile Wines

Salmon Tarator

Salmon Tarator
Recipe Date:
7 January 2024
Serving Size:
Cook Time:
  • 1 kg side of salmon, skin-on
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 150 g natural yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp tahini, well stirred
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 100 g natural walnuts
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 long red chili, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground sumac
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil

To prepare the salmon, trim away about 1.5cm from the bottom of the belly to create a neat, even rectangle. Ensure all pin bones are removed. Brush the fish with olive oil, season, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove the salmon from the fridge and allow it to come back to room temperature. When almost ready to bake, preheat the oven to 100°C. Wrap fish in baking paper and place, skin side down, in a large baking tray. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the fish over carefully, and bake for a further 12 minutes. Remove from oven and rest in tray for 10 minutes. Unwrap, and carefully peel away the skin and scrape away the grey blood line. 

For tahini yoghurt, crush the garlic with 1 tsp fine sea salt in a mortar and pestle, or by roughly chopping garlic clove then crushing with the salt using the flat side of your knife on a chopping board. Add to a bowl with yoghurt, tahini, lemon juice and pepper, and whisk together until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

For the tarator, increase oven temperature to 170°C. Spread walnuts on a baking tray and roast for 8-10 minutes until golden and fragrant. Tip into a tea towel and rub to remove as much skin as possible. Chop walnuts, onion and chilli into an evenly sized fine dice, then mix well with coriander, sumac, lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste.

To serve, place salmon on a platter and cover the exposed surface generously with tahini yoghurt. Sprinkle liberally with tarator topping so it completely covers the fish. Serve at room temperature with extra sauce on the side.

*Note: this method and temperature of cooking results in fish that is on the verge of medium rare with a soft, unctuous texture. If you prefer your salmon more well cooked, you can increase the oven temperature and bake to your liking, allowing the fish to cool before topping with yoghurt and tarator. You can also use the toppings on a plank of smoked salmon, if you prefer.

Adapted from Greg Malouf's 'Food Safari' recipe.

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