A Story and a BBQ Salmon Recipe, inspired by Greg Malouf and Food Safari
This is the salmon recipe of all salmon recipes.
It is my current absolute favourite salmon dish, and my family has eaten it non-stop for the past (almost) couple of years.
When we first started the Monday Morning Cooking Club, and began searching for those best tried and tested recipes from the best cooks in Sydney’s Jewish community, we were SO SO SO excited to be included in the ‘Jewish’ episode of SBS’s fabulous ‘Food Safari’. Maeve O’Meara’s Food Safari is a wonderful show in Australia that showcases the recipes and food heritage of many different and often eclectic cultures. Maeve visits chefs, home cooks, bakeries, shops and much more and takes viewers on a journey around the world through the eyes and lives of many culturally diverse Australians.
So we were on the TV show, and watched with enormous excitement as we enjoyed our 2 minutes of fame. Well, almost 2 minutes. But, hey – it was better than nothing. And we had a great time with Maeve and her crew who spent the whole morning in our MMCC kitchen as we cooked many different dishes and then sat down with us at the end for quite a feast.
We are now very proud of the Food Safari Clip, and love to watch it to really see how far we have come from those days when all our recipes and photos were simply a bunch of papers spread out on our dining room table!
Here’s a pic of us with Maeve on the day of filming. Ok ok . . . I am getting to the salmon story.
A couple of years later, Maeve put together many of the wonderful recipes that she sourced on Food Safari (one of which is our own Merelyn’s outstanding cholent) and created the beautiful Food Safari cookbook. We decided that the six of us should be there at her Sydney book launch.
Yes, we are getting closer to the salmon part of the story.
We do love a book launch, particularly a cookbook! So we went along, and guess what they served us for lunch? The MOST OUTSTANDING AND UNFORGETTABLE salmon dish we had ever had. It was Greg Malouf’s Tarator-Style Salmon. Tender, soft, translucent salmon topped with a dressing and salad to die for. The very next day I made it for my family.
It was declared a winner.
Most of the time I follow his simple method of baking the salmon in the oven, seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil and then wrapped like a parcel in baking paper. I will either cook 2 whole sides one on top of the other (skin on the outside), or cut a whole fillet in half so I create a double layer of salmon. For rare salmon, I cook it at 150C/300F for 20 minutes on one side and 15 minutes on the other, and then allow it to cool off the tray out of the oven until it reaches room temperature.
In the summer months, I cook the salmon on the BBQ. I leave out the coriander/cilantro (husband hates it) and replace it with parsley, I don’t bother toasting the walnuts (shortcuts!) and make loads of salad and pile it up high. What a dish! And it is wonderful for lunch the next day.
The original recipe can also be found on the SBS website.
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- BBQ Salmon with Tahini Dressing and Fresh Herb Salad
- 6-8 fillets salmon skin on, pinboned
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 200 g Greek yoghurt natural, unsweetened and thick
- 60 ml Tahini (pure sesame paste)
- 2 lemons juiced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 red onion (spanish) finely diced
- 1 cup walnuts chopped
- 1 red chilli seeded and finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups mint leaves chopped
- 1 1/2 cups parsley continental (flat-leaf) leaves and fine stalks, chopped
- 1 tsp ground sumac
- To make the dressing, crush the garlic and salt. Mix with the tahini, yoghurt and juice of 1 of the lemons until it becomes a thick paste. Taste for salt and lemon juice, add more if needed and then refrigerate.
- Heat the BBQ until hot. Season both sides of the salmon generously with salt and drizzle with oliv
- Place the salmon skin side down on the BBQ for a few minutes until the skin is crisp. Turn over. If the skin comes off, just set aside. Cook for another 3 – 5 minutes on the other side. Remove the salmon from the heat. The salmon should be undercooked at this stage as it will continue to cook through while it is resting. Peel off the skin and put it back on the BBQ to get really crisp like crackling. With the back of a knife, scrape off the grey flesh from the salmon (that was under the skin).
- Let salmon rest, for at least 20 minutes, covered with foil.
- To make the salad, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss through the onions, chili, walnuts and herbs.
- Place the salmon fillets side by side (touching each other) on a serving platter. Spread the yoghurt dressing on the salmon, spoon the salad on top of the yoghurt, and sprinkle with sumac. Top with the crispy salmon crackling.
- Serve extra yoghurt dressing and salad on the side.