Herby Salmon

A G-d Squad and a Perfect Herby Salmon

The best thing about this recipe is the fresh herbs that are layered on top of the fish

In the past, you may have read articles in which Sharon and I describe our friend group as The G-d Squad. While some of us have known each other since high school, our sisterhood solidified through our involvement with the Sephardic Educational Center. We were all in our early 20s. We all married around the same time and our children grew up together.

Our friend Mona christened us The G-d Squad when we banded together to help her organize her eldest daughter’s bat mitzvah. Nowadays, that is the name of our group chat (our kids think it’s really funny, but they know that it’s the truth).

Weeks can go by without a single text and then sometimes I will look at my phone and there are over 50 messages. I know that means that my girls have been having some fun chats or serious conversations or are planning something wonderful.

We try to gather for a girls’ night every month or so. When our children were little, we would go to restaurants. Nowadays, we enjoy spoiling each other by setting beautiful tables and cooking special meals.

Everyone in the Squad acknowledges that our friend Shira is just one of the most talented women we know. She is definitely someone I turn to for inspiration. Her father is Moroccan and her mother is Japanese and she truly inherited the best qualities of both cultures. She has amazing vision and incredible patience for the finer details of cooking, baking and entertaining. Her tablescapes are wildly creative and her flower arrangements are breathtakingly beautiful: a talent that served her well when she was a party planner.

As you can imagine, she is an amazing cook who takes the time to perfect every dish that she creates. Many, many years ago, for one of our get-togethers, she served us the most divine herby salmon.

I instantly adopted this fish recipe and it has become one of my go-to dishes for a brunch or an easy dinner main course. The bed of herbs poaches the fish, keeping it nice and moist and full of flavor.


All the birthday celebrations in The G-d Squad are paired up, because of our crazy schedules. Shira’s birthday and my birthday are five days apart. I love celebrating my birthday and Shira hates attention of any kind (proving that astrology has little effect on personality). So I always have to coax Shira into sharing the limelight with me.

The difference in personality extends to our approach in the kitchen. Many years ago, Shira threw a birthday for her sweet daughters. There was a tea party theme with the most exquisite cookies iced with pretty pastel Royal sugar icing, all layered with hand painted flowers, dots and stripes. Fifteen years later, I can still picture the Carousel she made — horses iced in different colors, all riding at different levels on the poles, just like a real carousel.

A short while later, I was hosting a bridal shower for my new sister-in-law Lemor. Inspired by Shira’s artistry, I bought the cookie cutters and the frosting kit. I baked the cookies and then I started the frosting process. After five minutes of struggle, I gave up. I took that frosting and drizzled a single layer over each cookie. No one is dreaming about my cookies!

In contrast, this recipe for herby salmon is the best of both of our approaches to cooking—perfection (Shira) and easy (me).

There are a few steps to the recipe but nothing too demanding. The first step is to dry brine your salmon by placing it on a dish lined with paper towel, then sprinkling some kosher salt over the salmon. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour to draw out the excess moisture.

When you’re ready to cook the salmon, slather it with a good Dijon mustard and a light sprinkling of freshly ground pepper.

The best thing about this recipe is the fresh herbs that are layered on top of the fish. They look so impressive. You can use any fresh herbs, salmon pairs beautifully with any and all. Rachel loves to pair her salmon with green onions, mint, cilantro, dill and basil. I am not a huge fan of cilantro, so in this recipe I used green onions, dill, basil and Italian parsley.

I just served this herby salmon for Friday night dinner and without exaggeration, there were gasps when my guests tasted the fish.

I just served this herby salmon for Friday night dinner and without exaggeration, there were gasps when my guests tasted the fish.


Herby Salmon Recipe

1 large salmon fillet, center cut
2 Tbsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 small bunches basil, roughly chopped
1 small bunch Italian parsley, roughly chopped
2 bunches dill
1 large lemon, sliced into thin rings
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place salmon skin side down on a dish lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle kosher salt evenly over the fish. Place in refrigerator for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place fish skin side down in the center. Pat the fish with paper towel to absorb excess moisture and salt.
Spread the mustard over the fish.
Sprinkle with black pepper.
Layer with green onions, basil, parsley and dill.
Place lemon around the fish.
Drizzle olive oil over the herbs.
Bake for 15 minutes.

Sharon Gomperts and Rachel Emquies Sheff have been friends since high school. The Sephardic Spice Girls project has grown from their collaboration on events for the Sephardic Educational Center in Jerusalem. Follow them on Instagram @sephardicspicegirls and on Facebook at Sephardic Spice SEC Food.

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