Spicing up salmon

Dull salmon takes on a new life when paired with these exciting ingredients.

Anything that is healthy and easy to make is a great weekday meal for my family - I like to keep dinners simple to prepare but still great to taste. These three salmon recipes rise to the challenge. Zaatar adds depth of flavor to ordinary salmon, flaked salmon and yogurt sauce liven up a regular Greek salad, and the delicious herb mayonnaise make poached salmon memorable. I serve them for dinner, a ladies luncheon, or sometimes as a Shabbos appetizer. Each recipe works well with a salmon fillet, a tail-end piece of salmon, or any other variety, like wild salmon.
Salmon with yogurt zaatar sauce
Serves 5
The zaatar sauce is a great addition to ordinary salmon. I love the combination of lemon and zaatar with fish and  it's a great alternative to traditional tartar sauce. You can serve raw vegetables with the sauce as an appetizer too.
Zaatar sauce 
8 ounces Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons Zaatar spice (available in most national markets or in Persian markets)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh or dried dill
5 (5 ounce) pieces salmon filet or large piece of salmon
kosher salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
Optional garnish: pomegranate seeds, herbs, cherry tomatoes
For the sauce: Mix together yogurt, zaatar, lemon zest, juice, and dill (if its too thick add a little water). Chill at least 2 hours or overnight to develop flavors. Serve with fish.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season salmon with salt, lemon juice and olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. You can also grill the salmon or poach it. Serve with Zaatar sauce. Dress it up with some pomegranate seeds or cherry tomatoes.
Salmon Greek salad with yogurt dressing
Serves 4
This is a seriously healthy dinner or lunch that is also so easy to prepare. I've been serving it on Thursday night when my little kids enjoy their pizza.  In our family, the big kids and the adults prefer a salmon dinner to pizza (okay we are nuts!) or prefer to eat the salmon salad and then some pizza. The yogurt sauce is a great addition. 
Roasted salmon
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for sprinkling
2/3 pound salmon fillets, skinned (1-inch thick at thickest part, preferably center cut)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Yogurt sauce
1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Greek salad
1/2 cup mixed olives
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 cucumber, peeled, sliced into half moons
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta
For the salmon: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a cooking sheet with foil and lightly oil. Sprinkle the salmon with the 2 teaspoons oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook the salmon until just cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Let the salmon cool slightly, then flake with a fork.
For the yogurt sauce: Whisk the yogurt, 1 tablespoon water, lemon zest, juice, mint, salt and pepper in a bowl until combined.
For the Greek salad: Toss the olives, tomatoes, lettuce, scallion and cucumber in a medium bowl. Whisk the vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small bowl. Gradually add the oil, whisking until emulsified. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Sprinkle the feta on top.
Serve the flaked roasted salmon on top of the Greek salad and drizzle with the yogurt sauce.
Poached salmon with herb dipping sauce
Serves 4
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced chives
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced tarragon
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry white wine
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
Four 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
Fresh herbs or edible flowers for garnish
In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise with the chives, mint, ginger, tarragon, mustard, lime zest and juice and season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet combine the water, bay leaves, wine, shallot and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Nestle the fillets in the poaching liquid, cover and cook over low heat until just cooked, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, remove the fillets and pat dry with paper towels before setting them on plates. Decorate with fresh herbs or edible flowers and serve with herb mayonnaise.
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