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Cedar-Planked Salmon With Merlot Reduction, Garlic Spinach


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  • 4 untreated cedar shingles (abt 5 1/2" by 10" each)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 4 salmon fillets - (8 oz ea)
  • 2 teaspoons Essence (see Bayou Blast recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves very thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds fresh spinach stems removed, well rinsed, water clinging to leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bottle Washington State Merlot wine - (750 ml) (or other dry red wine)
  • 1 small onion quartered
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste


Servings 4


Step 1

Prepare a grill and light the fire. Rub 1 side of each shingle with 1/2 teaspoon of oil.

Season the fish on both sides with Essence. Place a fillet on each oiled shingle. Place the shingles in the center of a hot barbecue grill. Close the lid and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove the shingles from the grill using a long-handled spatula. If the shingles catch fire, sprinkle with a little water.

Put the shingles in the center of large plates. Spoon the garlic spinach on the side, and drizzle the fish with the wine reduction sauce.

For the Garlic Spinach: In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant and starting to color, about 45 seconds. Add the spinach and any water clinging to the leaves and cook, stirring until wilted, about 3 minutes, adding more water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to keep wet and make wilt. Once wilted, cook until any water is gone. Add the salt and pepper and stir to incorporate. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. Adjust seasoning, to taste, and serve hot or warm.

For the Washington State Merlot Wine Reduction sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the wine, onions, celery, carrots and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid reduces by half, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain. Return to the pan, over medium heat. Whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time, until the butter is incorporated, being careful not to let the sauce break. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Cover to keep warm until ready to serve, whisking occasionally. (Makes about 2 cups)

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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