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Salmon Skewers with Almond Charmoula

Salmon Skewers with Almond Charmoula

Simply grilling fish is TV chef Andrew Zimmern’s favorite way to eat what comes out of the ocean. For these skewers, he pairs rich salmon with North African charmoula, a brightly acidic herb paste tempered with sweet fruit and—his personal twist—crunchy nuts.


  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds 
  • 3 medium sweet onions— 1 minced, 2 cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried currants
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron, soaked in 2 tablespoons warm water 
  • 3 garlic cloves 
  • 3 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves 
  • 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves 
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 
  • Kosher salt 
  • Pepper 
  • Twelve 8-inch wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes 
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless center-cut salmon fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes 
  • 1 pound small cremini mushrooms 
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes 
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the minced onion with the raisins, soaked saffron and 1/4 cup of the toasted almonds.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the garlic with the remaining 1/4 cup of almonds until chopped. Add the cilantro, mint and jalapeño and pulse until finely chopped. Add the olive oil and lime juice and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir 2/3 cup of the herb mixture into the onion-saffron mixture to make charmoula. Reserve the remaining herb mixture for grilling.
  4. Light a grill or preheat the broiler. On the skewers, thread the fish cubes alternately with the mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and onion pieces. Season with salt and pepper and brush all over with the reserved herb mixture.
  5. Grill the skewers over moderate heat or broil them, turning occasionally, until the fish is medium within, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the skewers to a platter and serve with the charmoula.

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