Planked Salmon With Dill and Lemon

If life’s gotten away from you and you only have 30 minutes for meal prep, think cedar-planked salmon with dill and lemon zest. Put the cedar planks to soak while you ready the grill and make the dill-lemon zest topping, then grill the salmon for just 10 to 15 minutes. Leftovers, cold, are superb with mayonnaise thinned with freshly-squeezed lemon juice and some capers.

This recipe is by Robin Mather, author of “The Feast Nearby” (Ten Speed Press, 2011), a collection of essays and recipes from a year of eating locally on a budget. This recipe was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.


Cedar planks are widely available and usually can be reused at least once. Use them smooth-side up; despite a lot of advice on the internet, there’s no need to oil them. Soaking the planks helps them release their oils in an aromatic steam as the fish cooks.


  • 1 cedar plank, 15 inches long
  • 1 large bunch fresh dill
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 side of salmon (about 2 pounds), pin bones removed


Step 1: Put 1 (15 inch-long) cedar plank in water to soak while you prepare the grill. Make sure it’s fully submerged.

Step 2: Mince half of 1 large bunch of fresh dill. Zest 1 lemon, then squeeze its juice into a small bowl. Add the chopped dill, 1/4 cup olive oil and kosher salt to taste; stir to blend. Set aside.

Step 3: At cooking time, place the plank on the grill, rough side up, for about 3 minutes to heat the smooth side. Turn the board over, and lay down 1 side of salmon (about 2 pounds), the salmon skin-side down on the plank, over direct heat. Season with salt; lay remaining dill atop salmon. Cover the grill.

Step 4: Cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the salmon reads 120 F (for wild salmon) or 125 F (for farmed salmon).

Step 5: Remove plank to a platter. Discard dill from atop salmon. Brush salmon with the dill-lemon mixture, reserving some to pass at the table, if desired. Let rest, covered, for 10 minutes before serving.

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