Grilled salmon tonight, thanks to neighbors who gave us some of their fresh caught kokanee salmon from Flaming Gorge.
Chef Guapo's Grilled Salmon with Summer Salad
Quick-Smoke Honey-Lemon Salmon
- 4 salmon fillets
- 4 lemons
- 1 T minced garlic
- 2 T honey
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 T salt
- 1 t crushed red pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 C water
- 1 cucumber (peeled)
- 1 red bell pepper (roasted and peeled)
- 1/4 c chopped kalamata olives
- 1 C spinach leaves (chopped chiffonade)
- 1 large avocado
- 2 T champagne vinegar
- 1 t dijon mustard
- 1 T honey
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t crushed black pepper
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 hours ahead of time, mix all the ingredients for the salmon together in a large plastic bag or mixing bowl (juice 3 of the lemons and throw in the remains as well, but save one lemon for plating).
- Let the fillets marinade in the bowl or bag in your refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Heat up the grill. Tonight, I cooked over coals after burning down some of our stash of bundled wood. If available, use alder wood, which gives a really mild smoky flavor without over powering the fish (if you don’t have alder, then feel free to use whatever you have available; most wood is fine because the salmon is going to be on the grill for a very short time, so oak, hickory, and even mesquite would be fine). Your grill is ready when the coals are white and there is a low flame (you’re not going to cook over direct coals, because you still want a good amount of smoke coming off the coals–this is going to give your salmon an added depth of smoky flavor)
- Line your grill with two sheets of foil. You don’t really want your salmon exposed directly to the coals, and you also don’t want to mess with having the fillets get stuck to the grill.
- Place the fillets directly on the foil lined grill (if you’d like, drizzle a little honey right on top of each fillet–I did this tonight, because sometimes I just prefer the extra sweetness).
- Cover your grill and let it cook for 3-5 minutes; you won’t need anything longer than this–they’ll cook really fast depending on the thickness of each fillet and the heat of your grill (it’s important to cover the grill because that’s where you’re going to get the smoky undertones).
- Get your chopping skills ready. Cut the cucumber and roasted pepper into small, equal portions (1/8 in) and give a rough chop to your olives; chiffonade your spinach and toss all the ingredients into a small bowl.
- Mix all your vinaigrette ingredients except for the olive oil in a separate bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking your vinegar mixture. This will cause your oil and vinegar to emulsify.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over the summer salad (you’ll have more vinaigrette than necessary, so don’t drizzle all of it), and stir to combine.
- Slice some fresh avocado (season with a dash of salt and pepper) and lemon wedges.
- Plating: place your salmon in the center of the plate (cut the fillet into two pieces if you prefer, pictured above) and drop a handful of the salad right on top; add the avocado and lemon slices and enjoy!
Kids seemed to like it.