Za'atar Fish with Pinenut Dressing and Hummus

From issue #4.
Photography by Photography by Aaron McLean.
Za'atar Fish with Pinenut Dressing and Hummus

Serves: 6


6 x 180 gram fillets of firm white fish
1⁄2 cup za’atar

200 grams chickpeas
2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1 bay leaf
juice of 2-3 lemons plus zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed 3 tablespoons tahini

1 cup pine nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped 1⁄2 red onion, finely chopped
1 mild red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons lemon juice plus zest of 1 lemon


Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water with the baking soda. Next day, drain, thoroughly rinse and place in a large pot with the whole garlic and bay leaf. Cover with cold water to 6cm above the chickpeas.

Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for approx. 1 1⁄2 hours or until the chickpeas are falling apart and most of the water has evaporated. Remove the bay leaf and put the chickpeas in a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Season to taste and add more lemon juice if needed.
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl, season to taste.

Preheat the oven to 200oC

Heat a sauté pan with a little oil until hot. Brush the fish with the oil then sprinkle with za’atar. Quickly brown the fish on one side then turn over.

Place the fish in the oven and roast until just cooked through. To serve: Divide the hummus between 6 serving plates. Place a fillet of fish on top and spoon over the dressing. Serves 6

Za’atar: an Arabic spice mix made from thyme, sumac, salt and sesame seeds