Salmon Tarator With Walnuts and Yogurt Dressing

Christmas 2013

This salmon tarator was the Christmas seafood centrepiece and deservedly so. It's a beautiful baked salmon that you can start a couple of hours before guests arrive. It's topped with roasted walnuts, herbs and a chilli herb topping. It remains the dish that my guests still talk about for its luscious, perfectly cooked texture and divine flavour.

Salmon Tarator

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Adapted from a recipe by Greg Malouf

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1.5 hours

  • 4-4.5 kilo/8.8-9.9lbs salmon
  • 3/4 cup/185ml/6.5flozs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 150g/5ozs walnuts, roasted and finely chopped*
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 3 large red chillies, diced
  • 2 cups coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sumac

Yogurt dressing

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400g natural yogurt
  • 50ml/1.7ozs tahini

Christmas 2013
To roast walnuts, bake as a single layer in a 180C/350F oven for 10 minutes.

Step 1 - Have your fishmonger clean and gut the fish. Rinse it under cold water. Pat dry and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 150C/300F. Place fish on an extra large sheet of baking parchment (enough to wrap the salmon) and season with salt and pepper and rub with a few tablespoons of oil. Wrap up in the parchment and bake for 40 minutes and then turn over and bake for 35 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Unwrap and cool to room temperature.

Christmas 2013

Step 2 - While the fish is cooking, make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a food processor and blending until smooth. Set aside.

Step 3 - Mix the walnuts, lemon juice, onion, chillies, coriander, mint leaves, sumac and remainder of the olive oil in a bowl.

Christmas 2013

Step 4 - Cut along the head from the back along the tail and remove the skin. With a knife, gently remove the grey flesh exposing the pink flesh. Coat with some of the yogurt dressing and then cover with the herb mixture.

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