There is something truly special about fish grilled over a wood fire. It’s smokey, delicate and bursting with flavor. That is especially true for this wood fire grilled salmon with roasted broccoli and cauliflower. That said you should know that handling fish on the grill can be a difficult at times, even for a veteran cook. Personally, I always use an indirect heat source when grilling any kind of fish. This means you never put the meat directly over the fire. You create a section of the grill that does not have any fire or charcoals below the grill grates. So you need to plan ahead and only put charcoal on one area of the grill when you begin to prepare the grill. Also, be sure to buy salmon with the skin on. The skin is an important part of the cooking process later on.
- 1 pound salmon filet, skin on and cut into thick serving sizes
- 1 large stalk of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets (1/2 pound)
- 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets (1/2 pound)
- 1 bulb of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- cooking oil and basting brush
- parchment paper
- hickory wood chips
- real wood charcoal
- Start by preheating the over to 375 degrees F for the broccoli and cauliflower. While waiting for the oven to heat up you can also prepare the grill for the salmon.
- Prepare the grill by only putting charcoal on one side of the grill before you light it so you can use indirect heat for cooking the fish.
- Be sure to scrub your grill grate with a grill brush so that it's clear of any residue before you put the fish down.
- While waiting for the grill heat to up, head back to the kitchen and combine the cauliflower, broccoli and minced garlic in a large mixing bowl.
- Slowly drip the olive oil over the cauliflower and broccoli, then toss until the oil is evenly distributed.
- Season the cauliflower and broccoli with a little sale and freshly ground black pepper, then toss again until well blended.
- Put a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet, then evenly spread the broccoli and cauliflower mixture onto the baking sheet.
- Once the oven reaches the set temperature, put the baking sheet with cauliflower and broccoli mixture into the oven.
- Let the broccoli and cauliflower bake for 30 minutes or until it has reached the desired level of doneness then turn off the oven and let this rest in the oven.
- Now it's time to finish the grilled salmon. The coals in the grill should be white hot by now, so quickly (but carefully) brush a little cooking oil onto the grate where the fish will be placed.
- Place the fish down on the grill with the skin side up over the section of the grill that does not have fire or charcoal below it.
- Quickly add some hickory wood chips to charcoals then put the lid on the grill.
- Let the fish sit with the grill covered for at least 10 minutes. Maybe a little longer depending on your grill, how hot it gets and how you are accustomed to cooking with it.
- Once the fish is seared on the first side, slowly and carefully use a metal spatula to turn the fish over. If the first side is well done, you should see some nice grill marks similar to what you see in our picture above.
- Add a little more wood chips the if the first round of wood chips have burned up completely, then put the grill lid back on and let this cook for another 10-15 minutes.
- Just before you remove the salmon from the grill, take some the lemon wedges and squeeze some of the juice onto the fish.
- Carefully scoop under the salmon skin with the metal spatula and lift the fish up in a direction that is parallel to the grill grates, then place the fish on a plate.
- Place the roasted broccoli and cauliflower on a serving dish then set a piece of salmon next to it.
- Add another lemon wedge to the plate so your guests can squeeze some more fresh lemon juice over the salmon and the broccoli and cauliflower.
Be sure to use a thick cut of salmon with the skin on. And always put the fish on the grill with the skin side up first. Then let the fish sit for awhile with the grill lid closed! Don't give in to temptation and move it or flip it too soon. You need to allow time for the grill to sear the fish on each side before it is firm enough to move it safely. Otherwise you risk having it fall apart! Nobody wants that. Don't worry if the skin separates from the salmon while you remove it from the grill, you want the fish to stay in one piece more so than keeping the skin on so this is acceptable. But the salmon skin is actually edible as long as it's not too burned. If you feel adventurous, give it a try.