Dinner

Harissa Is the Spice Mixture Your Salmon Has Been Missing All Along

Delicate salmon is cooked with a spicy harissa sauce and accompanied by a flavorful and filling crunchy salad.

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If salmon is on the menu a couple of times a week, you’re probably looking for ways to mix it up and keep things interesting. Our quick and easy salmon recipe is just the thing to put some spice into your dinner rotation. The key to this recipe is the spice mixture known as harissa – and if you don’t have it in your pantry yet, here’s why you should.

Get to know harissa

Sold in jars or tubes as a paste or as a dry spice blend, harissa (ha-REES-ah) is a combination of cumin, hot chiles, coriander and caraway (though each recipe differs) – and when combined with olive oil and garlic it becomes a hot sauce for stews and soups. The deep red spicy sauce originated in North Africa and in this recipe adds a rich flavor kick to the delicate salmon.

To maintain its flavor and silky texture, salmon should not be under- or overcooked, so make sure to check your oven temperature and remove the harissa-covered fish at 15 minutes. 

The salad portion of this recipe is an intriguing mix of farro, arugula, walnuts, lemon zest and juice, oil and green beans, cooked to crisp-tender perfection – meaning they are soft but still retain a slightly crunchy texture. 

Farro is an ancient grain that offers an earthy flavor and is slightly chewy when cooked. In its whole form, farro is best soaked in water before cooking. But in its cracked or semi-pearled form, farro needs no soaking. (Not sure what you have? Just follow the directions on the package.) This grain is so versatile it is found in many Italian recipes and can be added to soups and even combined with fruit for breakfast.

Here, mix the cooked farro with the other salad ingredients to make a tasty and filling bed for the harissa salmon, or if you prefer, serve the salad mixture alongside the salmon.

Harissa Salmon with Green Bean & Farro Salad

Servings
2
Prep Time
15 min
Duration
45 min

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1½ cups green beans, trimmed and halved
  • ½ cup whole-grain farro (soaked, if desired)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 6-oz fillets skinless salmon
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 2 tbsp walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • ¼ tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 3 minutes, until crisp-tender. Remove from water using tongs or a sieve and run under cold water to cool down. Add the farro to the water, reduce heat, cover and steam until all the water is absorbed and grains are tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together one-half of oil, harissa and garlic.
  3. Mist a small baking dish with cooking spray and place the salmon inside. Coat salmon with the harissa mixture and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until just opaque throughout and firm to the touch.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together, farro, green beans, arugula, walnuts, lemon zest and juice, remaining oil, salt and pepper. Serve with salmon.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ½ of recipe
  • Calories 590
  • Carbohydrate Content 44 g
  • Cholesterol Content 80 mg
  • Fat Content 27 g
  • Fiber Content 9 g
  • Protein Content 44 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 4 g
  • Sodium Content 369 mg
  • Sugar Content 4 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 14 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 7 g