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Barbecue Secrets

Recipe of the week - Planked Salmon with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Jul 18, 2015

Rosemary and salmon are a classic combination. In this recipe, the honeyed balsamic vinaigrette and brown sugar intensify the flavor.

Makes 6 servings

For the vinaigrette:
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp | 5 mL granulated garlic
1 Tbsp | 15 mL balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp | 45 mL extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp | 15 mL liquid honey
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp | 5 mL grainy mustard
1 tsp | 4 mL chopped fresh rosemary

For the salmon:
1 plank (cedar is nice but alder or maple would also work well),
soaked overnight or at least 1 hour
21/2 lb | 1.2 kg boned salmon fillet with skin
3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 green onion, finely chopped for garnish
balsamic reduction (optional; see recipe below)

Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl and mix them together thoroughly. Coat the salmon fillet with the vinaigrette and set it aside.
            Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Rinse the soaked plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
            Place the rosemary sprigs on the plank and lay the salmon fillet on top of the herbs, skin side down. Cook it for about 15 minutes, or until its internal temperature is 135°F | 57°C. During cooking, watch for flare-ups and put them out with a spray bottle of water.
            Take the plank off the grill and transfer it to a heatproof serving platter, tenting the salmon loosely with foil. To finish it, season it lightly with a little more salt and pepper, drizzle it with olive oil, and serve each portion with a wedge of lemon and a sprinkling of chopped green onion. For an extra-fancy touch, dot the plate with balsamic reduction.

Balsamic Reduction

This incredible, tangy, sweet, rich syrup has a multitude of uses. It supercharges any vinaigrette. It’s great in marinades (or as a simple marinade on its own), and you can even drizzle it on ice cream or fruit.
Pour a 10 oz | 300 mL bottle of cheap balsamic vinegar (you could use more or less as your need dictates; this is just a handy amount to prepare) in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook it at a gently rolling boil, watching it carefully, until the vinegar has reduced to about 1/3 its original volume (10–15 minutes). When it’s ready, it should be a thick syrup that coats the back of a spoon. Set it aside to cool. Transfer it to a squeeze bottle and store it in a cool, dry place. It keeps indefinitely.