Cedar Planked Salmon with Red Pepper and Caper Sauce

The plank style cooking method is borrowed from the Pacific Northwest, and the flavors are Spanish! If you are looking for a good cooking plank, they sell them at a variety of supermarkets. 

The Sauce

  • 1/2 cup jarred piquillo peppers or roasted red peppers
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. brine-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the peppers, vinegar, mustard, and garlic in a blender and begin to puree. With the blender running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the capers, parsley, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.

The sauce can be made up to two days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

The Salmon
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. hot Spanish smoked paprika or Hungarian hot paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 KOL Foods salmon portion cuts, skinned
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Soak a cedar plank in cold water for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cumin, pimentón, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the salmon and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Prepare a two-zone fire on a gas or charcoal grill: On a gas grill, set two of the burners to high (one if your grill only has two burners) and leave one burner off. On a charcoal grill, push all of the lit coals to one side of the grill.

Set the cedar plank on the grill over the hot zone, cover the grill, and wait until the plank starts to smoke, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, rub the skinned sides of the salmon fillets with the oil. Slide the plank to the cooler zone and arrange the salmon on top, oiled side down and thicker ends closest to the hot zone. Cover the grill (vents open on a charcoal grill) and cook until the fish is almost cooked through with just a touch of pink in the thickest part, or an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thick part registers 135°F (10 to 14 minutes). Transfer the fish (still on the plank) to a serving platter and serve with the sauce.

Serves 4