Salmon Shawarma with Red Pesto Freekeh

Ok, so calling this a shawarma might be up selling it a little bit, but the idea of really smoky, zaatar encrusted, charred salmon is a nod to the fabulous Middle Eastern BBQ that I simply adore. The salmon is served with warm red pesto grains – I just use a packet of shop bought, ready cooked, mixed grains that I steam back to life. Like all great kebabs, my salmon needs something tart, so I serve it with a very simple macerated onion and parsley salad; AKA the best kebab side ever. This is fast, furious mid-week cooking.

Method

  1. Chuck the red onion, lemon and a good pinch of salt into a bowl. Mix well and leave to one side to macerate. Give it a stir every now and then to help the onions soften.
  2. Rub ½ tsp of oil over each salmon fillet and coat with the zaatar.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the salmon, flesh side down and cook for 2 minutes. Turn and cook for another 2-3 minutes until just cooked. Remove from the pan and set to one side.
  4. Re-heat the pan over high heat. Add the grains and break them up with a spoon. Pour in 2 tbsp of water and stir-fry for a minute to allow the grains to steam and puff up. Switch off the heat and add the pesto. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  5. To serve, add the parsley to the onions and toss together. Divide the grains between the two plates. Top with the salmon and salad and serve immediately.

Ingredients

Serves 2

1 red onion, finely sliced
The juice of a lemon
2 salmon fillets (120g each) skin on
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp zaatar
250g pack cooked mixed grains – freekeh/lentils/rice
3 tbsp red pesto
2 large handfuls of parsley leaves
Sea salt and black pepper

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