Cedar Plank Salmon with Orange & Pomegranate Salsa Accompanied with Grilled Asparagus and Balsamic Vinaigrette

© 2012 REMCooks.com

Well, temps in DFW are back in the 80s again. It’s so hard to get in a Fall mood when it’s 88 F outside. Now, granted it’s better than 100 F but let’s be realistic. It is November after all. I have all these soups, stews and braises I want to cook but the weather just isn’t cooperating. So, it’s grilling time. We broke out the cedar planks and did some salmon with a wonderful light salsa and those gorgeous homegrown pomegranates. To accompany the meal we grilled some gorgeous asparagus I found at the market. Pretty good dinner even if I say so myself. 😉

This was a fun meal. It’s really more about the salsa than anything else, although the asparagus done this way is killer. I love being able to use our pomegranates besides just eating them by themselves. They are so good we have eaten quite a few of them by themselves. Baby Lady likes them for breakfast or lunch or snacks or even dinner is okay with her. She really does like them and so do I. We eat them in salads, desserts, main courses, you name it. They are such a fun, tasty seasonal treat. Lately, it’s the only way we have been able to remember it’s Fall. Alas, there are only 2 small ones left on the tree. 😦 We have eaten all of the rest before the trespassing neighbor could get to them and we have really enjoyed them. 😀

This recipe came about because I had picked a couple of the pomegranates and wanted to do something with them. We had some nice Minneola Tangelos in the refrigerator and some beautiful salmon. I didn’t want to glaze the salmon with the pomegranates because I wanted that little burst of flavor with each bite. We also did not want a salad. It was beautiful weather perfect for grilling so a salsa seemed the best way to go. This is what we did.


For the Salmon

For the Salsa

  • 3 Minneola tangelos, sectioned into supremes
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 large onion, small dice
  • 2 Tbs cilantro, chopped
  • 2 large jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced (for a little more kick, use serrano chiles)
  • 1 tsp toasted cumin seeds, ground
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Asparagus

  • 3 tablespoons good-quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to taste


For the Salsa

Put the supremes, lime juice, pomegranate seeds, cumin, jalapeños, cilantro and onions in a medium to large bowl. Add salt and pepper. Toss to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed. Set aside

© 2012 REMCooks.com

For the Salmon

Soak the cedar planks in water for a couple of hours. They say you can do it for 30 minutes but don’t believe them. You’re going to put these over a flame, remember?

When ready to cook, place salmon filets on cedar planks and season them with ancho chile rub.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

Place cedar planks on grill heated to 350 F.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

Close cover and cook salmon on planks until done the way you like it, roughly 10 minutes for completely done depending upon thickness.

For the Asparagus

Toss the asparagus in some olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

When you put the salmon on the grill, place the asparagus on the grill, as well.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

While the meal is cooking, add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar to a small blender and emulsify. You can use a bowl and a whisk but a blender obtains better emulsification.

© 2012 REMCooks.com

Pour the oil & vinegar into a bowl. Add the diced onion

© 2012 REMCooks.com

and garlic

© 2012 REMCooks.com

Whisk together to incorporate

© 2012 REMCooks.com

By the time the salmon is finished the asparagus should be done as well.

To Serve

Plate the salmon. Top with the salsa. Place the asparagus on the plate and drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over the top. Serve & enjoy!

© 2012 REMCooks.com

27 thoughts on “Cedar Plank Salmon with Orange & Pomegranate Salsa Accompanied with Grilled Asparagus and Balsamic Vinaigrette”

    1. Thanks, Alice. All of our meals are a collaborative effort so I’m just as lucky as Baby Lady. When I met and married her, I became the luckiest man in the world. As for Thanksgiving, we really haven’t decided what to do. Typically, we keep it traditional with a turkey and such. Baby Lady does an incredible Turkey Roulade and her stuffing is to die for. There will be a cranberry side of some sort, perhaps cranberry cherry sauce? I make a mean zucchini bread that I only do during the holidays. We love my recipe for Braised Pearl Onions, https://remcooks.com/2012/01/31/braised-pearl-onions/. I also do a sour cream pumpkin chiffon pie. We will probably sit down together in the next week or so and plan out the menu. We will have Quickstep over for Thanksgiving dinner, if he is not working but it will be just us which alters the amount of food to prepare in the equation. This year will definitely be different.

  1. Man you are a great cook ,I really enjoy your creativity .You are an inspiration.Your salmon dish is a beautiful piece of art.Thank you for sharing your talents.:)

  2. There’s so much to like about this meal, Richard. First off, there’s no better way to prepare asparagus than on a grill. Mine sits right outside my kitchen door and ridiculous as it seems, I’ll fire it up if I’ve got asparagus on the menu. I really enjoy planked salmon but never think of it — and I’ve got the planks! Lastly, this salsa of yours is the dish’s crowning glory. So fresh with so many great flavors. This is one great dish!

    1. Hi, John. Thanks for the nice compliment. We love asparagus either roasted or grilled. We hardly ever do it any other way, unless it’s the very small, homegrown ones which we throw in frittatas. You definitely need to use your planks. They’re fun and beat a grilling basket. If you’ve got them, there isn’t any reason not to use them. 🙂 The only problem with them is you have to think ahead to soak them.

    1. Thanks so much for the nice compliments. 🙂 You definitely need to try grilling the asparagus. It adds such a nice smokey flavor. The balsamic vinaigrette we used to go with it was a perfect compliment to the grill flavor.

  3. Hi Richard, the planks are new to me. Very good looking dish indeed. We have the weather you crave right now. The wind and rain are lashing the house as I type. Plenty of hearty stuff coming over the next few weeks.

    1. Hi, Conor. Grilling on planks has been the rage over here for 10 years, or so. You can use any of a myriad of wood planks depending upon the flavor you want to impart to your food. As it grills you get a nice smokey flavor from the planks. The cedar has an edge to it that goes particularly well with salmon. If you try it, make sure you get food grade planks because all other planks are chemically treated.

  4. I’m wishing it were 80 and still grilling weather up here. We’re steady in the 40s up in Wisconsin. I guess we could do some cooking over a bonfire… We’ve never grilled with planks like that. Is it much different than grilling with just the grates?

    1. There is a difference in cooking with planks as opposed to just grates. Because the food never touches the grates, you don’t get the brown crust on the meat. You also don’t have to worry as much about flare-ups, unless, of course, you don’t soak the planks. 😮 Also, cooking on planks gives you a nice smokiness that you cannot achieve with delicate fish any other way. If you use a smoker and indirect heat, you get too much smoke and the fish will tend to dry out. The planks provide just enough smokey flavor to preserve the flavor of the fish and keep it moist. Give it a try when it’s grilling time again. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

  5. OK…another FUN in the KITCHEN time! The ravings…”best salsa I have had in a long time!” Having so much fun creating from your blog! We made salmon and tilapia for the salsa! And, have to admit…. the kids wanted mashed potatoes and we couldn’t find tangelos, so used clementines. Totally DELICIOUS!
    Thanks so much!

    1. We’re so glad you are enjoying the blog. We love doing it and are pleasantly amazed people read it and enjoy it. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to drop by and post your very nice compliment.

    1. Thanks, Stefan. What can I say but I’m just a chilehead. 😉 You should try the cedar planks or adler wood or whatever wood just to give it a try. You may like it and you may not. I find the flavor of the salmon stands up well to the wood planks.

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