I was trying to plan something to cook for one of my first virtual classes when I stumbled upon a bright, colorful photo of salmon covered in “jewels,” on Instagram @laineskitchen and I was inspired. The jewels I am using here are pomegranate seeds, orange suprèmes (see note on page 109), rose petals, and pistachios. Other fresh fruit such as cherries, grapes, apricots, or berries can be used along with dried cherries, and apricots (especially the sour ones). This dish is always a hit, whether I serve it hot with rice or at room temperature with salad. I like to cook a large piece of salmon whole because the fish stays juicier, but you can also make this using individual fillets, and you can substitute any thick fish, like halibut or cod, for the salmon.
- 2 1/2 lb boneless, skinless salmon fillet, thick center cut if possible.
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper 1 Tbsp grated lemon or lime peel
- Sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2/3 cup Tahini Yogurt
- 1 cup combination of coarsely chopped fresh cilantro,
- flat-leaf parsley,dill,and mint + whole sprigs
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper 1 Tbsp grated orange peel
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios or coarsely chopped roasted almonds(or a combination)
- 3 oranges peeled and cut into suprèmes
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp dried rose petals (optional)
Place the salmon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Combine the olive oil with the honey, salt, pepper to taste, and lemon peel. Rub into the salmon and let it rest at room temperature for up to 30 minutes, or for longer in the refrigerator. Top with the sprigs of fresh thyme once it has marinated.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roast the salmon for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just cooked when pressed in the center with the back of a spoon or until an instant-read thermometer registers 140°F to 145°F when inserted into the thickest part. Remove the sprigs of fresh thyme and discard.
Coat the salmon with the yogurt tahini sauce. For the jewel topping, sprinkle with the chopped fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and orange peel. Then top with the pomegranate seeds, nuts, orange suprèmes, and sprigs of fresh herbs. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with dried rose petals, if using.
NOTE: If barbecuing the salmon, leave the skin on and coat both sides of the whole piece with a few tablespoons of mayonnaise to help prevent sticking.
BONNIE STERN is the founder of the Bonnie Stern School of Cooking in Toronto, which she opened and operated from 1973 to 2011. She has studied and taught cooking around the world, hosted three national cooking shows, and for 17 years, wrote a weekly column for the National Post. She has conducted popular workshops for the James Beard Foundation in New York City and leads culinary tours to various delicious destinations. Bonnie is also the creator of a groundbreaking book club in which authors are invited to discuss their work during thematic dinners. She has authored 12 bestselling cookbooks, including Bonnie Stern’s Essentials of Home Cooking, which won a coveted International Association of Culinary Professionals award. Bonnie is the recipient of many awards, including the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Gold Award, the Premier’s Award, and, in 2021, Bonnie was inducted into the Taste Canada Hall of Fame.
In addition to being Bonnie’s daughter and sous-chef, ANNA RUPERT is a speech-language pathologist, health and social care manager, researcher, and consultant in Toronto. Anna holds master’s degrees in Speech-Language Pathology and International Health Policy from the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics, respectively. Anna’s research and consulting has focused on the inclusion of rehabilitation services (like speech pathology) in global health systems, health system funding and planning, and the relationship between early childhood mental health, childhood trauma, and communication development. Clearly, she has multiple interests! Anna has been cooking with Bonnie since she was able to sit unsupported on the kitchen counter and hold a wooden spoon (there is photo evidence). This is her first book.
Excerpted from Don’t Worry, Just Cook by Bonnie Stern and Anna Rupert, published by Appetite by Random House, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada. Copyright © 2022 Bonnie Stern Cooking Schools Ltd. and Anna Rupert. Food photography by Tyler Anderson. Reprinted by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.