The cedar wood plank imparts a distinct flavor, as does the fennel-shallot crust that plays double-duty keeping the fish moist. When buying salmon, look for fillets of equal thickness to ensure even cooking.
To shave the fennel and shallots, try using a mandolin, a kitchen slicer designed for cutting fruits and vegetables to desired thicknesses and special cuts. Alternatively, you can use a sharp knife, just take your time and slice as thinly as possible.
Because most home kitchen ventilation systems aren't sufficient enough to handle this cooking method, Boulukos advises firing up your outdoor grill.
- 4 cedar planks, untreated, approximately 7-inch-by-3-inch in size
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3/4 Cups shaved fennel bulb, sliced 1/16-inch thick
- 3/4 Cups sliced shallot, sliced 1/16-inch think
- 1 Teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 4 (7-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
Step 1: Place 4 untreated cedar planks in a container large enough to weigh them down. Submerge planks in water for 1 hour to prevent them from catching fire.
Step 2: Heat an outdoor grill to medium heat, approximately 325 F. Place cedar planks on grill and heat until the planks are smoking and crackling, about 15 minutes.
Step 3: In a large bowl, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 cup shaved fennel, 3/4 cup sliced shallot, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine.
Step 4: Season 4 (7-ounce) skinless salmon fillets with salt and pepper to taste. Divide fennel-shallot mixture evenly over salmon fillets.
Step 5: Brush the cedar planks with 1 tablespoon olive oil to prevent salmon from sticking. Place salmon fillets on roasting cedar planks.
Step 6: Close grill cover and cook to medium rare, with an internal temperature of 125 F, or desired doneness.