Put down the lights and candy canes for one hot second and let’s talk healthy food. No, not what you’re going to cook for the big meal, but what you’re making to eat smart between all the festivities. For the next few days, I’m going to give you a few ideas for make-ahead meals as well as a few ideas for easy, healthy meals, like this quick broiled salmon I’ve been eating on a very regular basis.
This dish’s flavor is a welcome departure from the traditional holiday spices yet easy enough to pull together with ingredients you likely already have. Well, almost. The one wild card ingredient is the spice mixture, ras el hanout. Ras el hanout is a spice blend that translates to “top of the market” and it varies depending on what is freshest when it’s made though it usually has cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, and coriander.
I developed this easy, healthy recipe as one of many ways to the ras el hanout spice blend that’s for sale as part of OpenSky sale of See.Smell.Taste’s North African spices. The assertive flavors of these spice blends are classics in stew, great as rubs, work added to your popped popcorn, and, they pair beautifully with salmon. For this dish, I borrowed the tandoori technique here of using a spiced yogurt marinade but swapped out the Indian spices for ras el hanout. If you can’t find ras el hanout, go ahead and swap it for your favorite curry mix, garam masala, or a chili powder instead. And, if you’re in a particularly spicy mood, you could also make these honey and harissa almonds which would make a great snack or last minute gift.
North African Tandoori Salmon Recipe
- Makes 4 servings
- Total Time: 15 minutes plus marinating time
- Hands On Time: 5 minutes
- 4 (6 ounce) salmon filets
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/3 cup plain, Greek-style yogurt (not nonfat)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ras el hanout spice mixture*
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
Place fillets in a nonreactive container and sprinkle all over with the salt. In a second medium nonreactive bowl, mix together remaining ingredients until smooth. Taste and add more salt or honey, as desired. Pour yogurt mixture over salmon, cover, and marinate 30 minutes to 8 hours. (If marinating longer than 30 minutes, store in refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes before cooking.)
When ready to cook the fish, heat oven to 500°F and arrange a rack in the upper third. Remove salmon from marinade and place on an oiled or aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast until medium-rare, and fish in the thickest part of the filet just begins to flake, about 8 to 12 minutes total. (The fish will continue to cook once you remove it from the heat so you want to slightly undercook it.)