by the handful

Nutritious culinary and healing recipes collected from the North American garden, orchard, forest, river and ocean

Forest Kissed Cedar Plank Salmon

One of my culinary interests is using ingredients collected from the same place, or even all wild ingredients. It’s also exciting to imagine what native people would have prepared with no grocery store and only the rivers, fields, forest and garden to shop. Now this is not necessarily a native American recipe but it could be similar to something they may have prepared as berries and herbs were commonly used to season fish and game. Blackberries, wild mint and wild onions are all common foraging foods but of course you know where else to find the tame versions of these plants in the garden or grocery store. Salmon can be and often is seasoned numerous ways, but to be honest I almost never use any other seasoning other than salt or maybe a sprig of rosemary or a lemon slice from time to time. Its pretty infrequent that I really build up this fish that really needs little to no extras as it is a perfect food all on its own. This recipe is an exception, where the salmon is dressed up with foodstuffs that are found on the land around the rivers where this fish is harvested.

Forest Kissed Cedar Plank Salmon

1-2 pounds side of wild salmon

6 oz blackberries

1/4 cup Pinot Noir or other red wine

wild onion

wild mint

salt

cedar plank

cedar chips

coals or lump charcoal

Soak cedar plank in water for about an hour before starting the bbq by placing it in a sink or cookie sheet with sides. Place 2 large handfuls of cedar chips in a bowl of water.

Add a little less than half of the blackberries to a pot with the wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for just a few minutes as you mash the berries with a fork. Remove from heat and strain out the juices (pressing with a fork) and set aside to cool.

Start a fire in your BBQ using your preferred method.

When coals are ready, spread them to make 2 piles with an small open space in the middle, (indirect heat).

Remove plank from water and run a cloth over one side to dry off. Lay the salmon on plank now dry side and paint the sauce on with a brush (if you have extra sauce, save and drizzle on salmon halfway through cooking).

Sprinkle salmon with salt

Chop the wild onions and slice the wild mint. Press the onions into the salmon with a fork and then do the same with the mint.

Take the remaining blackberries and push them into the salmon as well.

Place the plank on the grill between the two fires and close the lid.

Add a few coals and a small handful of cedar chips every 15 minutes. The salmon should take about an hour but use a finger poke to test for firmness/doneness.

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