I believe some superlatives are in order:
This is the best way to grill salmon.
This is the tastiest cooked salmon that I’ve ever eaten in all my life.
Seriously, this salmon is so damn good.
No exaggeration. You’ve gotta try this grilling method. Make enough for leftovers to use in a second recipe, such as salad or pan-fried salmon patties.
cedar-planked salmon with horseradish-scallion sauce
serves 2, twice (use leftovers for a 2nd recipe)
[ adapted from Fine Cooking, June/July 2011, p. 57 ]
1 (2-pound) boneless, skin-on salmon fillet, pin bones removed
1 or 2 untreated cedar planks (depending on size, you may need to cut the fish to fit the planks, as we did)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup plain yogurt
2 scallions, finely sliced (green parts only)
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Soak the cedar planks in water overnight.
Prepare the horseradish-scallion sauce: Whisk together the yogurt, scallions, horseradish, salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit at room temperature to allow the flavors to meld.
Prepare the salmon: Brush both sides of the salmon with olive oil and place the fish on the cedar planks. Combine the lemon zest, thyme, sugar, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl, and rub onto the salmon flesh.
Time to grill! Prepare a gas or charcoal grill fire for indirect cooking with high heat: On a gas grill, heat all burners on high; then turn off all but one burner just before cooking the salmon. (If you only have one gas burner, like we do, simply reduce the heat to low.) On a charcoal grill, bank the coals on two opposite sides of the grill. Arrange the planks over the cooler part of the grill, positioning them so that the thickest part of the fish is closest to the heat source.
Grill with the lid closed until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes. (The planks may smoke a bit and they will become very aromatic, like a luxurious sauna at the spa!)
The salmon will be super-moist and succulent. Mmm!! Serve the salmon with the horseradish-scallion sauce. A chilled rosé is perfect with this on a hot summer day.