Ahh. The final days of summer with fall fast-approaching making cool summer evenings a barbecue-lover’s dream. We have fish at least once a week, and Salmon makes a perfect protein-rich, Omega-3 packed delicious and healthy meal. Grilling the salmon on a cedar plank that has been soaked in water prior to grilling makes it delectably moist with a carmelized crust that surrounds the fish as it bakes in its own juices and moisture on the grill. Nothing dry about this dish!
This is the second or third time we’ve had this recipe. My husband is a master of the barbecue and grill, I just happily make side dishes, and act as sous-chef helping to prepare the marinades. My hands are always being washed, and it’s not easy to pick up the camera and photograph in the kitchen, with hands that are always ready to get the sides ready or measure some ingredient out for a perfect marinade every time. So I mostly photograph my barbecue food shots with my camera all up in the grill’s grill. Ha!
Cedar-Planked Salmon with Honey-Lime Dressing
from Weber’s Real Grilling
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp minced fresh chives
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large salmon fillet (with skin) 2.5 to 3 pounds, about 16 in. long and 3/4 in. thick
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 untreated cedar plank (about 16 in. x 8 in. and 3/4 in. thick), submerged in water for at least 1 hour
1. To make the dressing: In a blender, combine the dressing ingredients except the oil. Mix until well blended. With the blender still running, slowly pour in the oil to make a smooth dressing.
2. Place the salmon on a rimmed baking sheet. Using needle nose pliers, remove and discard any pin bones from the salmon. Season the flesh side of the salmon with the salt and pepper. Pour about half of the dressing over the flesh and use a brush to distribute it evenly.
3. Remove the soaked plank from the water and immediately place it over Direct High heat until the edges start to smoke and char, 3 to 10 minutes (watch carefully so it doesn’t flame). Move the plank over Indirect High heat and place the salmon, skin side down, on the plank. Grill until the salmon is just slightly pink in the center and brown on the edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the plank and salmon to a heatproof surface. Serve warm with the remaining dressing.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
We like to buy wild freshly caught sockeye salmon when making any salmon dish, as it is more red in color than the farm-raised salmon, and it just has a richer flavor to us than the cheaper salmon. When you go all out, why not use the best?
When a recipe says to put salt and pepper on any meat or fish first, we usually just put fresh cracked black pepper, and either little or no salt. As you can see, we prefer a coarser blend, as it adds a really nice kicked-up-a-notch layer of flavor.
The honey-lime glazing is a fun salmon is the true supporting actor role in this dish. Brushing on a liberal layer with a basting brush is key.
The salmon is all ready for the cedar plank with any run-off caught on the plank. Later it will be a nice crust that holds the salmon’s shape during grilling and heightens the flavor.
This is the final full-length photo of the gorgeous full-length piece of grilled salmon with the honey-lime dressing. The red onions being grilled weren’t done yet, but we love red onions that are grilled with their sweet flavor and if it gets charred, that’s an added bonus!
We are huge fans of fresh grilled vegetables on the barbecue. You’ve already got the grill real estate in full gear, so why not use it to throw on some low-carb, high-fiber vegetables? The cauliflower this time was delicious with its nutty, flavor. The deep grill marks really make the flavor more complex than you ever could imaging a whole head of cauliflower sitting there in the produce aisle could ever produce. Cutting it in slices through the stem allows it to mostly keep its shape. It would even make a great vegetarian substitute for a burger.
And what would a barbecue be without roasted peppers? It is the complete addition to any meat in my opinion. Lately, I’ve been roasting the small red peppers that come in a package. They are so simple and easy to make, with no seeding, or cutting involved. You simply coat them with olive oil (a Ziploc bag works nicely for this to coat them evenly. Salt (if you must) and cracked black peppers, and voila. They are so simple to prepare, and they come out so sweet in the barbecue. I prefer them charred, and pop them in my mouth like they’re candy, charred skin, seeds and all. Mike prefers them skinned and seeded, so he just scrapes them off on the plate, and they are just as delicious. I guess I’m just not that fussy when something tastes that amazing and is a complement to my main dish.
This is the final dish on the plate. The salmon needed to be deboned before eating this time so we had to be careful. But it was so worth it – that’s why we keep making this tried and true grilling / barbecue recipe over and over again. Summer isn’t closing up shop yet, so I’m sure we’ll have more opportunities to make this one again, and for me to change-up my plating for the next shoot!