Za'atar Halibut Kebabs with Creamy Green Harissa and Shepherd Salad

Za'atar Halibut Kebabs with Creamy Green Harissa and Shepherd Salad
Photo by Alexis Boschnek

This Middle Eastern-inspired spread highlights meaty halibut kebabs rubbed with a simple mixture of olive oil and za’atar, a mild spice blend found in Middle Eastern markets or online. If you opt for grilling over the stovetop, just make sure to soak wooden skewers beforehand so they don’t burn. Other firm-fleshed fish such as salmon would also work as a substitute.

Za'atar Halibut Kebabs with Creamy Green Harissa and Shepherd Salad | Sitka Salmon Shares

Active time: 15 min
Total time: 1 hr 20 min
Serves: 2


  • Shepherd Salad:
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, diced
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • Creamy Green Harissa:
  • ½ cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Halibut Kebabs:
  • 1 (8-ounce) portion halibut, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Warm naan, to serve


Make the shepherd salad

In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Let the salad sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Add the feta before serving.

Make the creamy green harissa

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the yogurt, cilantro, parsley, jalapeño, scallions, salt, cumin, olive oil, and lemon juice and pulse until smooth. 

Make the halibut kebabs

Pat the halibut dry with paper towels. Carefully thread the halibut pieces onto wooden or metal skewers and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with the za’atar and salt on both sides.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the halibut kebabs and cook until golden brown, without moving, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip the kebabs over and continue cooking the other side until cooked through, about 1 minute 30 seconds. 


Serve the halibut kebabs with creamy green harissa, shepherd salad, and naan. 

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Pro Tips

Pair it Up

Pair it Up

Grapes like Assyrtiko in Greek white wines are bright and crisp and have a refreshing minerality — perfect for pairing with the Mediterranean flavors of this dish.

Level it Up

Level it Up

Alternate mushrooms and scallions with the halibut and cook over a gas or charcoal grill.

Change it Up

Change it Up

This recipe works exceptionally well as a single serving if ingredients are halved, but any leftovers can be tossed with orzo or couscous for a lunchtime salad.

Lighten it Up

Lighten it Up

This is an already lean dish — the full-fat yogurt adds a much needed richness. Using 2% would be OK, but resist the urge to use low-fat or fat-free. They’re too lean.


*The information displayed is our analysis of the recipe based on its ingredients and preparation, and should not be considered a substitute for professional nutrition advice.

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