Summer Salmon And Crunchy Cucumber Salad

Grilling on a cedar plank is an old Native American cooking technique that is finding its way to backyards all across America. You can purchase packaged planks at gourmet cooking stores or rough it and have a lumberyard cut the planks for you. They are exactly the same, just make sure you use untreated cedar wood. Try this recipe with center-cut pieces of wild salmon. If wild salmon is not available, farm-raised salmon will work as well. Ask your fish monger to stock the wild salmon - it may be a little more expensive, but it is worth every penny.

For the salmon:

1 9-by-15-inch untreated cedar plank, soaked in water for 30 minutes

1 wild salmon fillet, about 1½ pounds (about 10 inches long)

1-2 large lemons, cut in thin slices

Sea salt

Remove the plank from the water and place fillet skin side down on wood. Brush with olive oil and season with salt. Cover top with lemon slices.

Place planked salmon in center of the cooking grate, plank side down. Grill for 20-30 minutes or until salmon is pink in the center and flakes easily with a fork. Remove from grill.

Serve the salmon directly from the plank.

For the cucumber salad:

2 English cucumbers

1 small purple onion, chopped

½ cup sour cream

½ cup full-fat Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or unsweetened rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon granulated white sugar

4 sprigs of fresh dill, chopped

1 generous teaspoon capers

½ teaspoon sea salt (fine-grain)

¼ teaspoon white pepper

¼ teaspoon granulated garlic

Wash and dry cucumbers, remove ends. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the length of the cucumber in a striped pattern so there are ½ inch strips of skin left on the cucumber. (Note: the cucumber will have candy-cane strips when finished.) Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and slice cucumbers in chunks about ¼ of an inch wide. Add onion and set aside. Meanwhile, make dressing by combining sour cream, yogurt, vinegar and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in dill, capers, salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Taste and correct seasonings by adding fine-grain sea salt and white pepper if necessary.

Fold cucumbers and onions into dressing until well combined and all the vegetables are coated with the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 4 hours. Just before serving, stir and taste, adjusting salt and pepper if necessary.

Serves 4 to 6

Nutrition information per serving of salmon: 242 calories; 97 calories from fat; 11 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 94 mg cholesterol; 452 mg sodium; 0 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 34 g protein.

Nutrition information per serving of cucumber salad: 75 calories; 43 calories from fat; 5 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 12 mg cholesterol; 281 mg sodium; 7 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 2 g protein.

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