Blackened Sumac Salmon with Harissa Tahini Red Pepper Farro Salad

Blackened Sumac Salmon with Harissa Tahini Red Pepper Farro Salad is a robust and flavorful dish that’s perfect for any occasion. This dish combines the bold flavors of blackened sumac-seasoned salmon with nutty chewy whole grain farro mixed with smokey roasted red peppers and topped with a spicy, creamy harissa tahini sauce.

Harissa, a vibrant chili paste from North Africa, has become a staple in my kitchen, especially for Mediterranean dishes. Made from roasted red peppers, hot chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spices like caraway and cumin, harissa adds a smoky, complex heat that transforms any dish.

One of my favorite ways to use it is in a creamy harissa tahini sauce, perfect with grains, grilled veggies, or fish. Harissa brings warmth and zest to my meals, making it a must-have for anyone exploring Mediterranean cuisine. Give it a try – it might become your new favorite condiment too!

Sumac, with its tangy, lemony flavor, is a star ingredient in my kitchen, especially for crafting this vibrant “blackening” style of seasoning. This Middle Eastern spice, derived from dried and ground berries, pairs beautifully with smoked paprika, za’atar, cumin, and coriander, creating a robust and aromatic blend. When combined, these spices bring a harmonious balance of smokiness, earthiness, and a hint of heat, perfect for enhancing the flavor of fish, chicken, or vegetables. The sumac’s zesty brightness cuts through the rich, deep flavors of the other spices.

Farro, an ancient whole grain, is a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet and a favorite in my kitchen for its nutty flavor and delightful chewy texture. Rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, farro is nutritious and incredibly versatile. It’s perfect for salads, soups, and side dishes, adding a hearty and satisfying element to any meal. Farro’s ability to absorb flavors makes it an ideal base for various Mediterranean dishes, pairing beautifully with fresh vegetables, herbs, and lean proteins. Embracing farro in my cooking has enhanced my meals’ nutritional value and flavor profile, making it a must-have for anyone looking to enjoy the wholesome benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

To round out the salad the two main veggies are sweet smokey roasted red peppers and peppery arugula. To top it all off, roasted almonds add the perfect crunch.

Variations:

  • Protein – any other type of fish or shrimp, poultry or red meat, or roasted chickpeas in plant-based seasoning.
  • Farro – gluten-free alternative could be either rice or quinoa

The ease of preparation and the depth of flavor in this dish make it suitable for either busy weeknights or even special gatherings. The beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility and the ability to layer complex flavors in a simple, wholesome way. Serve this salad as a main course for a satisfying and healthy meal that will impress!

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Blackened Sumac Salmon with Harissa Tahini Red Pepper Farro Salad


Ingredients

Units Scale

Sumac Blackening Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground sumac
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Salmon

  • 2 wild-caught salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons seasoning, 1 per filet

Harissa Tahini Sauce

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • 1/4 cup water (adjust for desired thickness)

Salad

  • 23 roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup arugula, torn
  • 23 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup farro, cooked in 1-1/2 cups broth
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roasted and chopped

Instructions

  1. For Sumac Blackening Seasoning combine the smoked paprika, ground sumac, za’atar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, Aleppo pepper flakes, ground cumin, coriander, cardamom, and ground ginger. Mix well to combine.
  2. Next Season the Salmon by patting the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel. Generously coat both sides of the fillets with avocado oil then the sumac blackening seasoning, pressing gently to adhere.
  3. Preheat the broiler to high. Place the seasoned salmon fillets on a baking sheet lined with foil. Broil for 7-9 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and has a nicely charred exterior. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. For the Harissa Tahini Sauce, In a small bowl or jar, mix together the tahini, harissa, and water until smooth and well combined. Adjust the water to achieve your desired sauce thickness.
  5. To Assemble the Salad combine the chopped roasted red peppers, torn arugula, chopped parsley, cooked farro, and roasted almonds in a large bowl. Toss gently to mix.
  6. To serve, place a generous portion of the red pepper farro salad on each plate. Top with a broiled salmon fillet and drizzle with the harissa tahini sauce as well as some fresh chopped parsley. Enjoy immediately.

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