Over the summer, I pioneered what might be my favorite salmon marinade of all time—a bright, spicy harissa-lemon blend with a tough of maple syrup and a handful of chopped herbs. It was perfect for throwing fish on the grill and keeping around to drizzle on grain bowls.
Now that the weather is cooler, the easy grill situation has been replaced by ye ole sheet pan dinner. So I decided to give the harissa-lemon combo a try with one pan salmon and veggies. Well, my favorite marinade of all time may have just produced my favorite sheet pan salmon of all time. Yowzer.
The trick with sheet pan dinners is that you need to choose veggies that have roughly the same cooking time as your protein. This is tougher in fall months if you’re cooking fish or seafood, since most hardy root vegetables require a lot more time in the oven than 10 minutes.
So in this salmon sheet pan dinner we cheat a little, tossing the thinly sliced carrots with a little marinade and giving it a head start roasting away in the oven. After they become soft and caramelized, I toss in the leek, top the veggies with beautiful salmon fillets and douse everything with the remaining harissa-lemon mixture.
For those who aren’t familiar, harissa is a North African red pepper paste that’s ubiquitous in Tunisia and also widely used in Algeria and Morocco. It combines roasted bell peppers with hot peppers, cumin, coriander, garlic and other spices into a slightly sweet, earthy condiment that’s used to mix into soups, stews and couscous or to marinate meats.
After my trip to Morocco many years ago, I’ve kept some sort of harissa in the fridge as a hot sauce alternate and topping for tagines.
Since most commercial brands have garlic in the mix, it’s not low FODMAP, but you can easily swap it for a different hot sauce that is and omit the leeks to make this dish SIBO-friendly.
Read on for your new favorite sheet pan salmon recipe and let me know how it stacks up to this one (i.e. my former favorite) in the comments!
With health and hedonism,
Harissa-Lemon Sheet Pan Salmon with Carrots and Leeks
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, harissa, maple syrup, ¼ cup olive oil, and 1 teaspoon sea salt.
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss the carrots with ¼ cup of the marinade. Arrange in an even layer and roast in the oven until tender and beginning to shrivel, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and increase the temp to 450 F.
- Fold in the leeks and arrange in an even layer again. Nestle the salmon on top of the veggies skin-side down. Drizzle with the remaining marinade and season the fish lightly with salt for good measure.
- Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast until the leeks are beginning to crisp and the salmon is tender, about 8 minutes for medium-rare.
- Serve the salmon immediately over rice or as is for a paleo option.