The unlikely marriage of saffron and ranch dressing feels like the essence of Maman and Me. It is culinary alchemy achieved by experimenting with new flavors in a new home country. Maybe in another thirty years, we’ll have saffron ranch on grocery shelves! We top our salmon with peppers, mushrooms, walnuts, and tomatoes, arranging the tomatoes on top to resemble fish scales. We make this every Nowruz, our new year.

From Maman & Me by Roya Shariat and Gita Sadeh. Copyright © 2023 by Roya Shariat. Reprinted by permission of PA Press, an imprint of Chronicle Books.


Serves 5
  • One 2 lb (910 g) skin-on salmon fillet
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground saffron, bloomed over 2 ice cubes
  • 2 limes, halved
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 in pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 in pieces
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1 in pieces

  • 8 oz (230 g) baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup (30 g) chopped walnuts
  • 2 to 3 tbsp ranch dressing
  • 2 cups (280 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Sabzi polo, for serving
Cookware Used
Little Sheet
Two Nonstick Quarter-Sheet Pans
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Deep Cut
10-Inch Stainless-Steel Sauté Pan
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The Great Tool Family
5-Piece Silicone Utensil Set
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1. Put the salmon on Little Sheet and top with the salt, pepper, and bloomed saffron. Squeeze the limes over the salmon, then drizzle with 2 tbsp of the oil. Cover the salmon and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.

2. While the fish marinates, in Deep Cut, warm the remaining 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, then add the garlic, turmeric, curry powder, red pepper flakes, and walnuts and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from the heat.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Take the fish out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.

4. Once the fish is at room temperature, bake it for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and check for doneness — the fish should be opaque pink and flake easily when poked with a fork. Let the fish cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.

5. Set the oven’s broiler to low. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, spread the ranch dressing on top of the salmon. With a spoon, carefully place a uniform layer of the onion-pepper-mushroom mixture on top of the salmon. Place the cherry tomatoes, one by one and cut-side down, on top of this mixture. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the top. Place the salmon under the broiler for 5 minutes, watching it closely. When the tomatoes start bursting and changing color — and before they burn! — take the salmon out of the oven.

6. Serve warm with the sabzi polo. The salmon will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Video here!