40 Minute Family Meal: Cedar Planked Salmon and Salad

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Last night was one of those rare instances where work schedule, sunlight, a stocked refrigerator, and the moods of the children converged to create an environment, albeit fleeting, in which a family meal could transpire without stress, conflict, without factory farmed vegetables, without overfished fish. And, miraculously, it took fewer than 40 minutes start to finish.

Here’s how:
We had a perfect piece of wild Alaskan king salmon we’d bought from the
fish guy. It was a good pound and a quarter, skin on, filleted. I had a sheet of cedar that only needed a ten minute soak. 15 minutes later on a medium hot gas grill, it was perfectly cooked and just smoky enough. A generous sprinkling of salt was all it needed. Divided four ways, with most of the skin going to 6 year old omnivore Vi, the richh fish satisfied us all.

We had fresh local arugula and fennel from the farmer’s market. A quick rinse and spin of the arugula, a thin slicing of the fennel bulb, and it was ready to be dressed.

We keep my wife’s secret salad dressing (okay, not so secret: shallots chopped fine, some olive oil, some canola oil, some salt, some pepper, some red wine vinegar… not too much! You want it a bit tart, but not discernibly sour) pre-assembled in a jar, ready to be shaken and deployed when a salad needs to be made.

We had parmesan, which shaved over the lightly dressed salad brings it all together.

We had some good rustic bread, that required only the quickest toasting.

We had wine.

They had water.

We were happy.

This is a recipe you can’t measure.
—Hugh

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