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Middle Eastern Salmon and Lemon Kebabs
with quinoa / citrus and avocados

Active: 45 min Total: 45 min
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.)


  • Quinoa, uncooked - 1/2 cup
  • Stock, any type - 1 cup
Middle Eastern Salmon and Lemon Kebabs:
  • 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
Citrus and Avocados:
  • 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


  1. Quinoa - (Double if making Wednesday’s meal.) Combine quinoa with stock in a saucepan. Add some salt. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Skewers - (If cooking on the grill, get grill heating before continuing with prep.) If using wooden / bamboo skewers, soak in water for 10 minutes.
  3. Make vinaigrette - Dice shallots. Whisk shallots with mustard and vinegar. Add oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. 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)
  5. Lemons - Thinly slice into rounds. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  6. Citrus fruit / Avocados - Prep as directed and combine.
  7. 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.)

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Toss citrus and avocados in vinaigrette. Season with a pinch of salt.
  4. If quinoa was made ahead, reheat in the microwave (reserve half if doubled).
  5. Serve salmon skewers with quinoa and citrus / avocados on the side. (The citrus / avocados and vinaigrette are great spooned over top of the quinoa.) Enjoy!



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