Arctic Char with Tahini Sauce, Nuts, and Herbs

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A trio of toppings-a lemony sesame seed sauce, a chunky nut-and-herb “pesto,” and sweet-tart pomegranate-boost the flavor and appearance of simple seared Arctic char, a fish from the same family as trout and salmon. You can chop the nuts and herbs in a food processor to save time, but process them separately so that the herbs won’t get bruised and mushy. I like serving this dish with a roasted carrot salad.


6 Tbs. tahini (sesame seed paste)

4 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 small clove garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Kosher salt

1/4 cup toasted, finely chopped almonds

1/4 cup toasted, finely chopped walnuts

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

3 Tbs. finely chopped red onion

2-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint

1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbs. virgin coconut oil

4 6-oz. skin-on Arctic char fillets

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

2 tsp. pomegranate molasses


Process the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 5 Tbs. water in a food processor until smooth, about 1 minute.

In a medium bowl, gently toss the almonds, walnuts, cilantro, onion, olive oil, parsley, mint, and pepper flakes with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper until well combined. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Lightly season the fish with salt and pepper. Put the fish in the skillet flesh side down and cook, undisturbed, until golden, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until barely opaque in the center (use a paring knife to check), about 1 minute more.

Transfer the fish skin side down to a serving plate. Spread the tahini sauce over the top of the fillets, then sprinkle with the nut-herb topping and the pomegranate seeds. Drizzle 1/2 tsp. of the pomegranate molasses over each, and serve.