In the past, I introduced saffron to you in many popular recipes such as Persian Rice, Sholeh Zard, and Tahcheen. Sumac is perhaps a spice you might be less familiar with, yet have seen in most Persian cuisine restaurants served along with salt and pepper at each table setting. Sumac is a spice derived from flowers of sumac trees. Commonly used in Middle eastern recipes to flavor salads and meats, Iranians generally sprinkle crushed sumac on top of cooked rice and kabob dishes. A great source of antioxidants, sumac adds a robust tang and lemon flavor with a beautiful purple color to either chicken, lamb, or beef kabob rice dishes. Crushed sumac is sold in most Middle Eastern or Persian markets.
In this recipe, I smother salmon with saffron, sumac and lime aioli and bake it in the oven for twenty minutes to render a mouth watering beautiful fish. Healthy and delicious, I hope this recipe becomes your 'easy to go to' salmon recipe. Enjoy!
1 half salmon filet- deboned, with skin
1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron
1/2 teaspoon sumac
1 lime zest and juice (preferably large lime to render 1/4 cup of juice along with zest)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and finely crushed black pepper
3-4 garlic cloves
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
Mince and mash garlic with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife. Whisk together yolk, mustard and lime juice in a bowl until smooth. Drop by drop, add olive oil to mixture while constantly whisking until a silky, emulsified aioli is rendered. Whisk in mashed garlic, zest of lime(s), saffron, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper each until well blended.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
On a baking sheet, rub olive oil to coat surface. Place salmon (skin side down) on sheet and cover entire fish surface with aioli. Sprinkle with sumac and marinade for 10 minutes prior to baking. Bake for 20 minutes and serve on a serving platter garnished with fresh herbs and lime slices.