Citrus Salmon Steaks with Saffron Tabouleh Salad

plate1.jpgIt’s one of my favourite ways to cook salmon. Somehow, lemons and oranges compliment this rich fish and the zesty, tangy flavor makes it somewhat lighter. I love it served on a bed of “tabouleh” salad, which soaks up the pan juices.

salmon top2.jpg

The traditional Middle Eastern “tabouleh” consists of bulgur wheat, parsley, mint and tomatoes. Everything should be finely chopped, mix and then drizzled with an olive oil and lemon dressing. However, this version of tabouleh has a more Mediterranean flair. Being a Cypriot I had to add chopped coriander which Iove-love-love, dill, pine nuts for crunch and dried cranberries for sweetness. And lastly I mixed in some crumbled feta cheese because every salad should have feta (almost!). The saffron has an earthy aroma and gives a beautiful yellow colour to the bulgur wheat.


The dressing is amazing! I make a double batch and use half of it to finish the Salmon in the pan and the rest as a salad dressing. A touch of ginger in the dressing- although not really your average Mediterranean addition- gives a pleasant kick and gorgeous flavour to the dressing.

You can substitute quinoa for the bulgur, but hey, with no offence to gluten free followers, I like my wheat.

For the “tabouleh”

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • A pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 cup “Mitsides” bulgur wheat (blue pack)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dill, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 Tbs pine nuts, toasted in a pan over medium heat
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 3 Tbs orange juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salmon

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 salmon steaks
  • 2 Tbs capers, drained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Prepare the bulgur wheat. In a medium saucepan put the chicken broth and saffron threads over high heat. As soon as it boils add the bulgur wheat, change the heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes until bulgur wheat is cooked but not mushy. Spread bulgur wheat in a tray to speed up the cooling and stop the cooking process.

Prepare the dressing by mixing together all the ingredients. Set aside until needed

In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients for the tabouleh. Keep some feta cheese, pine nuts and cranberries for garnish. Add the cooled bulgur wheat and mix well.

salmon stages

Prepare the salmon steaks. Put steaks on a tray and season both sides with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, put 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook undisturbed for 4-5 minutes, until nicely roasted. Turn steaks over and pour ½ cup of the dressing in the pan. Add the capers and leave to cook undisturbed 3-4 minutes longer depending on how thick your steaks are (mine were about 3 cm thick). You don’t want to overcook them.

To serve, mix the remaining dressing with the tabouleh salad. Season with salt and pepper. Serve salmon steaks on a bed of salad, drizzled with the amazing pan juices.





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