My grill delivers great food quickly during the work week. And, this recipe for cedar smoked salmon with spinach and sun-dried tomato orzo is nutritious to boot.
In about 25-30 minutes this top quality meal will be go from the refrigerator to dinner table. I save time by purchasing portions of salmon and grilling it on planks. First, the pre-portioned fillets alleviate any cutting and weighing of the fish. Second, because the skin remains on the plank after cooking, you do not have to take time to remove it from the fish. Now, I know that folks who like crispy fish skin for both its texture and flavor may be disappointed by this move but I assure you neither texture nor taste are sacrificed.
Salmon fillets, cedar plank(s), lemon wedge, olive oil, orzo, salt, water, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, & garlic
Here is how it is all achieved:
1) Light your grill and bring up to high heat.
2) Place pot of salted water on the stove to boil.
3) Place salmon, skin side down on cedar plank(s) and the place the plank onto the grill .
4) Set timer for 20 minutes.
5) Sauté fresh spinach in oil with minced garlic.
6) Chop sun-dried tomatoes and add to sautéed spinach, stir three times and remove all from the heat.
The grill should be smoking at this point in time. If not, place plank over hottest spot in grill.
7) Add orzo to the boiling water and cook to ardent, as instructed (usually 7-9 minutes).
8) Drain the orzo, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water
9) Stir orzo into the spinach and tomatoes, add shredded parmesan cheese liberally over mixture
10) Once timer is up, remove the cedar plank from the grill.
11) Plate orzo and remove salmon from plank and onto the pasta. To do so slide a spatula under the flesh of the salmon and above the skin. Applying a gentle downward and forward motion will allow the fish to slide right off the plank.
12) Drizzle a few drops of olive oil onto the fish, followed by the same amount of fresh squeezed lemon juice.
I find that seasoning the pasta water and the sauté suffice for brightening and sharpening the dish. In addition, smoking the fish on a plank give the exterior a delightful smoke crust and delicate, flake on the inside.