This spicy and sweet honey-harissa glazed salmon is topped with bright and fresh walnut salsa verde then served on top of turmeric couscous with caramelized shallots and dried apricots. If you’re looking for a dinner thats healthy, easy to make and big on flavor you’ve come to the right place!
If you need a little inspiration to step up your salmon dinner game, this recipe is for you. I’ve made this dinner at least 4 or 5 times over the last few months so it only feels right that I finally share it with you.
Honey-Harissa Salmon couldn’t be easier to make! First, the salmon is coated in a sweet and spicy marinade that transforms into sticky glaze under the broiler. It’s then served with a bright and zesty salsa verde with toasted walnuts, fresh herbs and lemon juice. To complete the meal.. light and fluffy couscous seasoned with turmeric, cinnamon and studded with dried apricots and caramelized shallots–it’s heavenly!
Made this salmon for dinner. It was epic! The seasonings in the couscous are so perfect and walnut salsa verde is fresh and tasty!-Ann R.
Harissa paste can vary in flavor and spice level between brands. I like this one, that’s sold in a tube like tomato paste, it’s fairly easy to find in most grocery stores. Mina is another great brand. Trader Joe’s also has it’s own version as well. Harissa is sometimes sold as a dried spice or seasoning, rather than a paste, please note that is not what you want to buy for this recipe.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
Scroll to the bottom of the recipe card for ingredient notes and substitutions!
How to Make This Recipe
Whisk together the honey-harissa marinade. Set aside half of the marinade for later and use the remaining to coat the salmon filets evenly on all sides. Broil the salmon until cooked through and slightly charred. While the salmon is resting spoon a bit of the reserved marinade over each filet.
A note about broiling: The key to beautifully caramelized broiled salmon is high heat from the top of the oven, or in some cases a broiler drawer. Most broilers are set at 500-550 degrees F. If you don’t have broiler setting on your oven you can instead bake the salmon at 450F. As always, whenever you’re cooking under a broiler it’s crucial that you watch the food closely as it cooks to ensure that it doesn’t burn to a crisp!
Walnut Salsa Verde:
This zesty walnut salsa verde can be made two different ways. You can chop all of the ingredients by hand and fold them together, as seen below. Or, you can pulse all of the ingredients together in a food processor or blender.
One of the wonderful things about couscous is it cooks in about 5 minutes! This version is made all in one pot and infused with caramelized shallots, turmeric, cinnamon and dried apricots. You can even make the coucous the morning or day before you want to serve it!
FAQs and Expert Tips
Harissa is a Tunisian spice paste made by blending roasted peppers with olive oil, garlic, and toasted spices like cumin, coriander, and caraway. Different brands vary in spiciness, it’s a safe bet that any harissa is pretty hot, so always taste as you go. Looking for more delicious ways to use Harissa? Check out Yogurt Marinated Chicken and Coconut Milk-Braised Chicken with Harissa and Lime.
Couscous is best reheated in the same way you would reheat rice. Sprinkle it with a few tablespoons of water, microwave until warm steamy then fluff with a fork to break up any clumps. If you don’t have a microwave you can add the couscous to a saucepan, along with a splash of water. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Check Out More Delicious Salmon Recipes
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Honey-Harissa Salmon with Walnut Salsa Verde and Turmeric Couscous
- 4 8 oz salmon filets skinless
- ¼ c harissa paste
- ¼ c honey
- 3 tbsp neutral oil
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 2 tsp salt
Walnut Salsa Verde
- 1 c fresh parsley leaves roughly chopped
- ½ c toasted walnuts roughly chopped
- 1 small shallot minced
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- ½ c olive oil
- zest and juice from ½ a lemon
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 large shallots thinly sliced
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 c dried couscous
- 2 c chicken stock
- 1 c dried apricots sliced
- zest from one lemon
- Preheat your broiler. Position your oven rack so that it's approximately 8 inches from the heating element. Line a baking tray with foil then brush with a light, even coat of oil to prevent sticking.
- Whisk together the harissa, honey, oil, garlic, and salt. Divide the marinade in half, set aside one half for later then use the remaining marinade to evenly coat the salmon filets. Transfer the filets to the prepared baking tray and broil for 7-10 minutes until they are deeply caramelized and cooked through. Keep a very close eye on the oven, checking every minute or so, to ensure that salmon does not burn.
- As soon as the salmon is out of the oven pour the reserved marinade over the filets.
Walnut Salsa Verde
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the salsa verde ingredients. Alternatively, you can pulse all of the ingredients together in a food processor. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Set aside at room temperature until you're ready to serve.
- In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat then add in the sliced shallots and a generous pinch of salt. Cook the shallots until they are soft and caramelized. Next add the turmeric, cinnamon and dried couscous. Cook for about 1-2 minutes stirring to coat the couscous with the shallots and spices. Next pour in the chicken stock and turn up the heat to high. As soon as the stock starts to boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir with fork, then fold in apricots and lemon zest. Taste and season with salt.
- Just before serving pour the salsa verde over the salmon. Divide the couscous between bowls then top each bowl with a filet of salmon and walnut salsa verde. Serve immediately!
- Salmon: Almost any thick cut fish filet will work well for this recipe. You could use halibut, cod or sea-bass. Even shrimp would be nice!
- Harissa Paste: Harissa is a smokey Tunisian hot pepper paste. If you can’t find it in store it’s available in many places online or you can try making it from scratch.
- Walnuts: Substitute almonds, pine nuts, or pistachios. Feel free to omit the nuts all together if there is an allergy.
- Couscous: Quinoa is a pretty good substitute for couscous and it’s gluten-free! If you’re going to use quinoa you’ll need to double up the chicken stock and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- Reheating Salmon: Reheat leftover salmon filets in a preheated 350F oven for 5-7 minutes or in the microwave in 1 minute increments until warm.
- Reheating Couscous: Couscous is best reheated in the same way you would reheat rice. Sprinkle it with a few tablespoons of water, microwave until warm steamy then fluff with a fork to break up any clumps. If you don’t have a microwave you can add the couscous to a saucepan, along with a splash of water. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.