Za’atar Roasted Salmon with Greens


Oh gosh, I’m not totally sure how to sell this one to you. This is what we eat for dinner when we don’t know what to eat for dinner. It’s quick. There are five ingredients. What you spend on wild salmon, you make up for with nearly no prep and just 10 minutes of cooking. This is really good and really healthful, detox food that will still fill you up.

In fact, this is Alex’s recipe. He used to make it before I made dinner for us most nights. All you do is sauté garlic, add a lot of greens, arrange the salmon on top, and bake for a couple of minutes. In the oven, the greens get slightly crisp on top but rich underneath, since they benefit from cooking in a little bit of the salmon’s fat, just like the potatoes from Alex’s roasted chicken. Don’t get me wrong, though: this is not bachelor food. The pink salmon presents itself pretty handsomely, sitting there on top of tender farmers’ market greens.

Of course the za’atar is my addition. I’ve been sprinkling it on salads and sandwiches since this post, when I started my Middle Eastern exploration with Sargento. With the salmon, the herb mix serves two purposes. One, the combination suits salmon perfectly: the thyme is fragrant, the sesame seeds are rich, and the tangy sumac, like lemon, helps cut through salmon’s fattiness. And two, you know that white stuff that seeps out of salmon when you cook it? It’s called albumin. It’s no big deal taste-wise and there are cooking methods that can reduce it, but bottom line, it doesn’t look that pretty, and the za’atar sprinkle covers it up.

This sponsored post is part of an ongoing collaboration with Sargento, called Flavor Journey. Throughout the year, with the support of Sargento, I’m exploring Middle Eastern cuisine–at home, in Brooklyn, at cooking classes, and wherever the flavors may take me. You can see the whole series here. Sponsored posts let me do some of my best work on this blog, and I only ever work with brands whose values and products mesh with the content I love to produce for you. Here’s my affiliate disclosure.


Za'atar Roasted Salmon with Greens
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
You don't need to serve this with anything if you're not a carb person. I am--I like to make toast rubbed with garlic and olive oil or a simple grain salad. Or roasted potatoes--yum.
For the za’atar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon sumac
For the salmon and greens:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, greens removed from stem and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large bunch spinach, washed well, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ¾ pound wild salmon side (not steaks), cut into two filets
  • 2 tablespoons za'atar
  • 3 lemon wedges
Make the za'tar:
  1. Mix all the ingredients together
Make the salmon and greens:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In an ovenproof skillet (cast iron works great!), heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, until slices are just sizzling, not golden. Add greens (it's fine if there's water clinging to them), and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Salt to taste. Lay salmon on top of the greens. Drizzle the filets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 400°F, or until the salmon is done to your liking. Better to undercook than to overcook. Let the salmon rest for 5 minutes--it'll actually cook a little more while you wait. Sprinkle the za'atar on top. Squeeze the juice from one lemon wedge over the fish and serve with the other two wedges.


**Fall Fest**

This recipe is part of Food Network’s Fall Fest, where bloggers share recipes about different seasonal recipes each week. Today, we’ve got spinach. Yum!

The Heritage Cook: Fresh Spinach with Maple Vinegar Vinaigrette
Blue Apron Blog: Saag Paneer at Home
Weelicious: Spinach Cake Muffins
Virtually Homemade: Creamy Spinach and Chicken Casserole
Haute Apple Pie: Parmesan Spinach, Broccoli and Chicken Bake
Red or Green: Spinach-Walnut Pesto on Bruschetta with Fried Egg
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spinach with Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes
The Sensitive Epicure: Spanakopita Minus the -Opita
Taste With The Eyes: Spinach and Chickpeas in a Bengali Mustard Sauce
Domesticate Me: Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette and a Fried Egg
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Crispy Spinach Latkes
Devour: How to Make Spinach Gnocchi
Dishin & Dishes: Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad with Arugula and Baby Spinach
FN Dish: Eat Your Spinach Sides

  • caitlyn

    Great recipe! I love anything with za’atar!

    • BGSK

      Me too (obviously!)

  • jaime @

    Fish is one of those ingredients that you don’t have to dress up too much. My favorite recipes use less than 6 or 7 ingredients because fish just speaks so well for itself.

    • BGSK

      You’re exactly right!

  • Chris Zaccharia

    This is indeed a best main dish for dinner! Can’t wait to cook this for my Family.

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