Middle Eastern Salmon and Lemon Kebabs with couscous / citrus and avocados
Alternating salmon and lemon makes kebabs that are eye-catching and flavorful. We featured these kebabs back in 2015 but are giving them a fresh take in this bright and colorful citrus-packed meal.
Smarts: This meal takes quite a bit of prep, from threading the salmon onto skewers to chopping the citrus and avocado. Feel free to simplify by leaving the salmon filets whole and just searing in a pan. (Top with the lemon slices.)
- Stock, any type - 1 cup (sub water)
- Salt - 1/4 tsp
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
- Couscous, uncooked - 3/4 cup
- Skewers, wooden, bamboo, or metal - 16
- Salmon - 1 1/2 lbs, cubed (look for skinless salmon filets or ask the fishmonger to remove the skin)
- Za'atar - 1 Tbsp
- Lemons - 2, sliced thinly into rounds
- Shallots - 1 clove, diced
- Mustard, Dijon - 1/2 tsp
- Vinegar, red wine - 2 tsp
- Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
- Citrus fruit - 1 lb, chopped (grapefruit, oranges, or a combination)
- Avocados - 2, chopped
- Make couscous - (Double if making Wednesday’s meal.) Combine stock, salt, and butter in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in couscous and cover with lid. Let stand for ~5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Skewers - (If cooking on the grill, get grill heating before continuing with prep.) If using wooden / bamboo skewers, soak in water for 10 minutes.
- Make vinaigrette - Dice shallots. Whisk shallots with mustard and vinegar. Add oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Salmon - Rinse and pat dry. Chop into 1” / 2.5 cm cubes. (Note: Don’t worry if some pieces aren’t perfectly cubed; you can fold them over when threading them onto skewers.) Toss salmon with za’atar and some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Lemons - Thinly slice into rounds. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Citrus fruit / Avocados - Prep as directed and combine.
- Assemble skewers - Alternate threading salmon and lemons (folded into halves or quarters) onto skewers. (Using two skewers together can make it easier to flip the skewers as they cook.)
- If cooking on a grill: Heat grill to 450F / 232C degrees. Clean grates and brush with some oil. Add salmon kebabs and sear on both sides until salmon is just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes total.
- If cooking on the stovetop: Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush pan with some oil. Add salmon kebabs and sear on both sides until salmon is just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.
- Toss citrus and avocados in vinaigrette. Season with a pinch of salt.
- If couscous was made ahead, reheat in the microwave (reserve half if doubled).
- Serve salmon skewers with couscous and citrus / avocados on the side. (The citrus / avocados and vinaigrette are great spooned over top of the couscous.) Enjoy!
This meal has 19 reviews
loved this!! the rest of my family didn’t love it quite as much as i did, but it’s my opinion that counts. :) did not do the kabobs, but the pan cooked salmon was amazing—i likes it way better than cooking in the oven, which is the only way i’ve done it before.
Salmon skewers were absolutely delicious and the salad went well with the couscous. Next time I'd probably use less of the dressing on the avocado and citrus as it kind of overpowered the combo.
I'm giving this five stars for the salad alone. It's been over 100 degrees in our area and this salad was extremely refreshing. The choice of citrus was naval oranges. Instead of salmon, I used chicken and we made our own "Za'atar" seasoning to go with it. Chicken and lemons were pan fried without any skewers. Our goal was to make this stretch for two days and the chicken/couscous reheat well. We made a new salad each day because of the avacados. Second time around, we mixed everything together (salad and chicken/couscous) and it was amazing.
The za’atar sauce made a big difference!! Very good.
I just made the salmon and couscous, not the salad. I used a zaatar oil blend that was perfect on the salmon and then as a drizzle on the couscous.
This was really delicious and very quick to make with just grilling skin on Salmon filet. Great Summer dish.