Ras El Hanout / Za'atar Grilled Salmon

Fall BBQ 2012 by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ kg tail piece of salmon in two halves, filleted but skin left on
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
  • smoked sea slat, to taste
  • 4 teaspoons ras el hanout spice blend
  • 1/2 small dried chili, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons za’ater (Recipe below)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 springs each of rosemary, thyme and oregano

Method:

  1. You will be flavoring each of the salmon fillets with different ingredients. So to prepare the workspace line two baking trays with some thick, sturdy aluminum. Place one fillet on each of the baking trays, skin side down. Rub each fillet with the lemon pepper and smoked sea salt. Set aside.
  2. Marinade 1: Ras el Hanout - Mix the spice blend with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, crushed dried chili and two tablespoons olive oil. Rub the marinade on the fish, massaging it gently. Place the herbs on top and fold the aluminum foil over the fillet.
  3. Marinade 2: Za’atar - Mix the za’atar with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Rub the marinade on the fish, massaging it gently. Place the herbs on top and fold the aluminum foil over the fillet. Set both the fillets aside for about 15 minutes.
  4. Make sure the heat from the charcoal is not too high. If you are grilling other meats, like beef and lamb, it would be advisable to put these on the grill first. Once the heat has mellowed down, place the salmon, still wrapped in the foil on the grill, skin side down. Grill for about 8-10 minutes on the skin side then turn once and grill for a further 6-8 minutes.

Notes: To make your own za’atar at home: Gently roast about 1 tablespoon sesame seeds in a dry pan. Combine the sesame seeds with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, 1 tablespoon each dried marjoram, sumac, ground cumin and 1 teaspoon each salt and ground black pepper in a blender and process until finely mixed. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Ras El Hanout, an exquisite spice blend from Morocco. You can find out more about the history and the 30 spices making up Ras El Hanout in my Food Guide  

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