Blackened Salmon with Feta-Yogurt Sauce and Golden Couscous

This recipe was particularly fun to make, and especially fun to photograph.  For some reason I ended up putting it on my floor, taking a photo of it there, and then sitting in the same spot and eating the whole dish.  There is a small window of time, usually around 2pm, when sun manages to find a small crevice between all of the tall New York City buildings and floods into my second floor apartment, and therefore onto me.  I love sitting and eating under the sunshine during this brief moment, which is what I was able to do today.

The truth is that I just got back from a relaxing and much-appreciated vacation with my mom and sister in Barbados, and I’ve got fish on my mind in a major way.  Almost every meal we ate there featured grilled fish – usually mahi mahi, snapper, or dorado – lightly seasoned and served with plenty of Scotch bonnet hot sauce (my new favorite hot and slightly sweet sauce, in case you’re wondering).  For this reason the only recipe ideas that were swimming in my mind were fish, spicy, and sweet.  Thus was born this recipe which I am delighted to share with you!

The recipe list is long, but there is a simple reason for that:  half of the list consists of spices which go straight from their jar into a bowl.  There is virtually no chopping, cutting, or dicing involved in this recipe (ok I’m kind of lying – you have to cut a lemon in half) so please don’t let the long ingredient list turn you off – this is a cinch to make!

I confess that this feta-yogurt sauce isn’t indigenous to this recipe, since I’ve used it once before, also in tandem with couscous, in my Chickpea Couscous with Feta-Yogurt recipe.  Some of you made that recipe and told me how much you liked the feta sauce, and since I completely agree with you I felt no qualms in reusing it here.

So that about does it for today.  If you don’t want to make the couscous or don’t have any at home, you can easily substitute another grain, such as rice, quinoa, or farro.  Cook each according to package instructions and you’ll be good to go.

Happy Thursday everybody!

Blackened Salmon with Feta-Yogurt Sauce & Golden Couscous – serves 1

  • 1/2-cup quick-cooking couscous
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic or onion powder
  • 1/2-teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 6-ounce salmon fillet
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (low fat or nonfat OK), or other thick yogurt (such as labne)

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Place couscous and raisins in a bowl. Cover with 1/2-cup salted boiling water, and let sit for about 7-8 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season to taste.
3. In a shallow bowl, combine paprika with following 5 ingredients.
4. Cut lemon in half. In another shallow bowl, place salmon fillet and sprinkle all over with lemon juice from one of the halves. Dip salmon into spice mixture and cover all sides of fish.
5. Heat oil in a small skillet over high heat, until skillet is very hot and oil is shimmering. Reduce heat to medium-high, add salmon fillet, and cook on all 4 sides until seared, about 30 seconds per side. Finish with salmon skin side down.
6. If skillet is ovenproof, transfer directly to oven and cook until done, about 7 minutes. Otherwise transfer to an oiled baking sheet first.  Meanwhile, combine feta and yogurt in small bowl. Drizzle with about 1 tsp lemon juice from remaining half, and season to taste.
7. To serve, place couscous on a plate, top with salmon and yogurt sauce. Drizzle with any remaining lemon juice.

This is a super easy recipe, and can be easily doubled if you’re thinking of turning up the heat a little on Valentine’s day :)   Have a good night everyone xo.

8 thoughts on “Blackened Salmon with Feta-Yogurt Sauce and Golden Couscous

  1. Delish! Salmon just really hits the spot sometimes…and I’m learning so many different preparations. Very different from the pistachio crusted. Quite spicy actually. I had it with the arugula/white bean/red onion salad which was a nice leafy complement.

    I can’t wait to try the cheesy puffs…my next adventure. I made a banana bread for the first time the other day which turned out well, so now anything with dough excites me.

    Thanks Ashley!


  2. It is almost 11:00 at night. I made the sole dish for dinner, it came out so well. And now I am reading this new recipe and my mouth is watering. For sure this will be my Sunday dinner.

    Thanks Ashley

  3. Dear Ashley, I am so grateful for your blog. you have changed my life. I was not such a fan of cooking and I always had take out or went out to eat. Since I have followed your blog and watched your cooking videos,( based on a friend’s suggestion) now I am planning my dinner in the morning by looking at your list of recipes. Before I come back home, I buy what I need and excited to get on with my cooking. Please keep posting. Thanks a lot for your contribution.
    Very Best,

  4. Just found your blog and this looks sooooooooo yummy. I eat salmon all the time and always looking for new ways to prepare it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. So I tried this tonight and found the sauce turned my stomach…just wasn’t a nice mix of flavours. Maybe if you have 3 Tbsp. of yogurt and only 1 Tbsp. of feta? I don’t know but it was too much feta for sure.

    The salmon turned out nicely as did the couscous. I liked the sweetness that the golden raisins added.

    Also was a few too many dishes for my liking (but then again 1 is too many for me….but seriously it was a lot of dishes).

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