Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cedar Plank Salmon with Fresh Lemon Pepper

I enjoy salmon.  Raw, grilled, whatever.  I didn't grow up eating salmon because my mom didn't like it.  Mom may not have enjoyed salmon in the past, but this simple recipe converted her.

The inspiration was a dinner we enjoyed with at a friend's home earlier this summer.  After our friend explained all of the advantages of wild-caught Pacific salmon (and I had an opportunity to taste the fantastic meal served at their home) I decided to try to create something similar on my own grill.  I'm not a fishmonger and I'm still learning how to work with seafood, but even I was able to handle this recipe.  I picked up a 1-pound salmon filet and a stack of cedar planks (you can find the planks at kitchen stores or in the seafood department of your grocery store).  I soaked the plank, seasoned the salmon, and lit the charcoal grill.

(Scared of the grill?  Check out this tutorial.)

The seasoning is extremely simple.  It's the zest of one lemon plus some Kosher salt and pepper.  That's it.  You can squeeze some fresh lemon juice on the salmon before serving.

In just 15 minutes you have moist, flaky, smoky, lemony salmon.  Salmon so fresh and tasty that even my mom would eat it.  It's restaurant-quality and it will impress all your friends.  And even though it costs a few dollars more than Atlantic farm-raised salmon, the taste and quality is much better, so go ahead and splurge... it's still more affordable than going out to dinner!

Cedar Plank Salmon with Fresh Lemon Pepper
from Keeley's kitchen
serves 3-4

1 pound fresh, wild-caught Pacific salmon
1 lemon
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
special equipment: one cedar plank, soaked according to package directions and a grill

Soak cedar plank according to package directions.  (I soak mine for at least an hour before cooking).  Preheat your grill.  (If using charcoal, set up an indirect-heat situation, if using propane, use medium heat.)

Zest the lemon.  Mix lemon zest with salt and pepper.  Rub seasoning mixture on salmon.

When the grill is ready, place the salmon on the cedar plank.  Place the plank on the grill and cover the grill.  Cook until fish flakes when poked with a fork (about 15 minutes).  Do not overcook.

Serve hot or at room temperature.  Squeeze lemon juice over salmon, if desired.


  1. omg, i just ate, and this made me hungry all over again. so my plans for a new place with outdoor space didn't workout, so I guess I'll just have to invite myself over for dinner again (pending acquisition of new car).

  2. That looks delicious and easy to make!! Here's hoping for our very own outdoor space for grilling soon :)

  3. Looooooooove. Just ate some of this myself yesterday. Pure heaven.

  4. I love wild salmon and this looks pretty simple. Def will give this a try

  5. This salmon looks so pretty! I do not eat cooked salmon but I love it raw. I might change my mind if this gorgeous meal was sitting in front of me :)


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