Za’atar Spiced Salmon Kebabs

*This recipe contains substitution ingredients for chicken, beef, & vegetables

It’s one of my most favorite seasons of the year. Warm weather’s here to stay, & with it, the opportunity to head outside & fire up the grill for kebabs during the summer! While we all may have our standard recipes for burgers, dogs, & other grillin’ go-to’s, I’m sharing my spiced kebabs with you. This recipe has ripe peak summer tomatoes & squash, tangy yogurt, bright, earthy, herbaceous za’atar spice & a bit of heat from my jalapeño studded zhug. Now is a perfect time to learn what I do & make this recipe one of your summer staples.

Special Equipment: Scale, Chef Knife, Peeler, Blender, (2)Bowl, (2) 1/2 Sheet Pan, Bamboo Kebab Skewers, Grill or Griddle
Serves: 4 Kebabs

Ingredients

16 Oz  Full Fat Yogurt
2 Ea  Lemons
1 Oz  Za’atar Spice

Herb Puree – aka Chermoula
yield: 1 Pt | 362g

Ingredients

1 Handful | 32g Spinach
1 Handful | 32g Cilantro
1 Handful | 32g Parsley, flat leaf
1 Petal | 16g | Preserved Lemon
1/2 Tablespoons | 2g Kosher Salt
2/3 Cup | 128g Olive Oil
3 Thumb Sized | 30g Ginger, peeled & chopped
2 Cloves | 10g Garlic
1/2 Ea | 20g Shallots
1/4 Cup | 60g Neutral Oil

Method
  • In a blender, add Spinach, Cilantro, Parsley, Preserved Lemon, Salt, Ginger, Garlic, Shallots, & Oil
  • Blend until smooth
  • Separate evenly into two bowls
  • Continue with instructions below

Marinating & Cooking Veggies

Ingredients

12 Each Cherry Tomatoes
1 Medium | 18 Pieces Zucchini, or Squash (large dice)
1/2 Each | 18pc Red Onion (large dice)
1 ½ – 2 lbs Salmon Fillet, Chicken Thigh, Beef Tenderloin, or 4-6 Each Portobella Mushrooms

  1. Set your oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut Squash, & Onions to bite size or Large Dice
  3. In one bowl with the Chermoula, add 18 Pcs Squash, 18 Pcs Onion, 18 Pcs Cherry Tomatoes & mix until coated.
  4. Using your hands or a slotted spoon, pull out all of the vegetables & place onto a sheet tray & lightly season with salt
  5. Add large cubed salmon, about 1 Oz per cube. If you don’t like salmon, try using swordfish. If you don’t like fish you can substitute with beef tenderloin, chicken, or mushrooms. Mix well, but do not season with salt. Allow the protein to marinate while you prepare the Zhug
  6. Place vegetables in the oven for 15 minutes or until vegetables are half-way cooked
  7. When ready, take out of the oven to cool


Zhug

Ingredients

3/4 Cup | 172g Herb Puree
3 Tablespoons | 30g Jalapeño, small diced
1/2 Cup | 74g Cucumber, small diced
1 Handful | 16g Cilantro chopped
3/4 Tsp | 3g Cumin ground

Method
  • Add Jalapeño, Cucumber, Cilantro, & Ground Cumin to the remaining bowl of Chermoula
  • Mix well, & adjust seasoning with salt
  • Set aside & continue with Kebab marinating & building below

What is Zhug

Zhug is from Yemen 🇾🇪. It is a green hot sauce traditionally made with chilies, parsley, cilantro, garlic, cumin, coriander & oil. It’s eaten all over the Middle East & pretty much goes with everything especially grilled fish, meats, veggies & falafel. I am making a variation by adding cucumbers to lighten it up & jalapeños for a mild spice. You can use whatever type of pepper or chili you want depending on your heat tolerance. It will stay fresh in your fridge for 3-5 days. 


Building & Cooking Kebabs

Before you start, make sure to soak your skewers in water to prevent from burning while cooking.

  1. Turn on the grill or griddle to medium high.
  2. Start off by skewering a tomato, onion petal, salmon (or protein of choice), then squash. Repeat 2 more times or until the skewer is full.
  3. Repeat steps from above for the remaining skewers.
  4. Before cooking, season with salt & pepper.
  5. Place onto hot & oiled surface & cook 3 minutes on each side depending on your protein.

Za’atar Spice

All Za’atar is not made the same. Some blends are earthy and nutty while others are more herbaceous and bright. Buy, taste and experiment with different ones to find your favorite and best use for the flavor profile of each. I love doing side by side comparisons, this is a great way to train your palate and taste the differences. Remember take notes while tasting so you don’t forget which one to use in your next recipe. Store the spices in a cool, dark place.

Plating

  1. Smear yogurt on the bottom.
  2. Place kebabs directly on top of the yogurt.
  3. Garnish with zhug & za’atar spice.
  4. Serve immediately with lemon wedges

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