Using a cedar plank is an idiot-proof way to perfectly grill fish. And right now, we’re all about grilling salmon. You may not think of salmon as seasonal because it’s readily available year round, but most likely what you’re buying in the off-season is farmed. Farmed salmon just doesn’t compare to the wild salmon that is available this time of year. Wild salmon get a lot more exercise and have a much different diet, giving the meat a much darker color and better flavor. And because the fish tastes so good, you really don’t need to do much else to it.
The MEAT: Wild-caught salmon. Say those three words to your butcher or fishmonger and you’re going to get a gorgeous cut of fish. Eight ounces is about the perfect size for a salmon steak, but go bigger or smaller depending on your appetite. And we always ask our butcher to remove the pin bones—that way we don’t spend the entire dinner pulling them out of our teeth. Trust us, it will make your life way easier and the butcher never minds.
The METHOD: Using a cedar plank to grill the fish adds a wood-smoke complexity to the meat, but it also acts as a safety guard to make sure you don’t overcook it. Soak the plank for at least an hour before you cook, and two hours if you have the time. We used water for this recipe, but we’ve been known to soak cedar planks in white wine or beer for an extra layer of flavor!
The MEAL: This simple salmon recipe goes really well with grilled veggies, rice, couscous or anything else you like to eat with fish. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and enjoy!
Cedar plank(s), soaked in water for 1-2 hours
2 8-ounce salmon filets
Lemon wedge for garnish
Cover the salmon with the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic and set aside.
Prepare your grill for medium-high grilling. Put the plank directly over the fire and put the salmon on the plank. Cover the grill and allow the salmon to cook for about 15 minutes, then carefully remove the plank to a baking sheet with the salmon still on it (use a large spatula since the plank will be really hot). Remove the salmon filets from the plank and serve immediately with a lemon wedge.