This is one of those dishes that will make guests feel special, because fish tends to have a fancy feel to it. But this recipe for broiled salmon could not be any easier! The presentation is impeccable and the flavor lives up to the hype thanks to a preserved lemon paste.
SERVE THIS DISH MEZE-STYLE
This dish is adapted from the cookbook Sabada: Fresh Sunny Flavors from my Israeli Kitchen by Adeena Sussman. Jen and I enjoy presenting it as a small plate along with many other dips, spreads and charcuterie. It might be one of many in a meze-style spread, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less special! It’s perfect on its own or on top of a torn chunk of naan.
Preserved lemon is the base of this flavor profile, and then we finish it with a little extra lemon juice and Applewood Smoked Sea Salt from San Francisco Salt Company. It’s almost too pretty to eat but trust us and dig right in.
Adapted from: Sabada: Fresh Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen by Adeena Sussman
2 lbs small lemons, plus additional lemon juice to fill
1 cup kosher salt
Preserved Lemon Paste
1 cup preserved lemons, homemade or store bought, seeds removed, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 lb. whole salmon fillet, skin on
⅔ cup Preserved Lemon Paste
Paprika and Preserved lemon slices for garnish
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
24 oz. jar with lid
Wash 24 oz. jar and lid in soapy water and dry well.
Using a sharp knife cut an X shape into each lemon so that it is quartered, but not all the way cut through. It should look like an open flower that can be closed in the palm of your hand. WOrking over a bowl, hold one of the lemons in your hand. Pack the salt inside, close it and fit it into the bottom of a jar. Keep working with the lemons and salt, fitting in the lemons as tightly as possible. Sprinkle more salt on the lemons as you continue to pack them. Juice will start to gush out of lemons and fill the jar. Continue salting and packing the lemons until the jar is almost filled to the top with lemons and lemon juice. If necessary, top the jar with lemon juice. Seal tightly, place the jar on a plate to catch any leaks, and leave out in a sunny place for at least 2 weeks or up to 3 months. Flip the jar occasionally to make sure lemons and salt move around a bit. Transfer to a refrigerator where the preserved lemons can be stored for up to a year.
Preserved Lemon Paste
Combine lemons and paprika in a blender or small food processor. Turn on the machine and drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture is creamy and emulsified, 1 to 2 minutes.
Bake the salmon
Arrange a rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Arrange salmon in a baking dish, spread preserved lemon paste, top with paprika and lemon slices, and bake until the salmon is just cooked through, 20 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil until the lemon paste is slightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes.