Salmon tarator

Salmon tarator with a sesame seed dressing and pomegranate seeds.
Salmon tarator with a sesame seed dressing and pomegranate seeds. Photo: Supplied

This classic recipe from the Middle East is always a crowd pleaser and is so easy to make. Tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds, is jam-packed with good stuff, including vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, small amounts of calcium and fibre. I wouldn't eat tahini on a daily basis but, as a treat from time to time, the flavour it adds to dressings and sauces is great. If you can tolerate dairy, you can also substitute yoghurt for some of the tahini in the dressing, which will make it creamier and lighter.


1 x 1.2kg side fillet of salmon or ocean trout, skin left on and pin-boned

2 tbsp coconut oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

seeds of 1 pomegranate, to serve

pomegranate molasses, to serve (optional)

Tahini dressing

350g unhulled tahini

100ml lemon juice

2 tsp ground cumin

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Herb crust

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 very large handfuls coriander leaves, finely chopped

2 large handfuls flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

1 large handful mint leaves, finely chopped

3 long red chillies, finely chopped

100g almonds, finely chopped

10g walnuts, finely chopped

2 tbsp sumac

150ml olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 70C.

2. Rub the salmon all over with the coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the salmon in baking paper, leaving the seam on top and twisting the ends to seal. Tie kitchen string around the paper in three places. Place the wrapped salmon on a baking tray and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until it is slightly pink in the centre.

3. Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing by placing all the ingredients in a food processor with 80 millilitres of water. Process to form a thick sauce.

4. To make the herb crust, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

5. Remove the salmon from the paper and transfer to a serving platter. Spread some tahini dressing on top, then cover with the herb crust. Sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds and drizzle over a little pomegranate molasses (if using). Serve with the remaining tahini dressing on the side.