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Recipe of the Month

March 17, 2011
belgard firepit

Grilled Lemon-Dill Salmon with Cucumber Salad

Photo: Emily Nathan; Styling: Karen Shinto
You know spring is here when recipes start using fresh vegetables! Nothing beats a fresh cucumber from the Farmer’s Market, marinated for the afternoon. Remember, medium sized and smaller cucumbers have a sweeter taste, so don’t grab the largest one. Western salmon meets Scandinavia in this light, refreshing recipe. Prep and cooking time are 40 minutes, plus at least 2 hours marinating time. Notes: The salad can be made up to 8 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Personally, I add a few grape tomatoes to brighten the color and make it more kid-friendly. Add them just before serving to maintain their plumpness.
Yield: Makes 4 servings Total: 2 hours, 40 minutes


  • 2  or 3 lemons
  • 4  center-cut skin-on salmon fillets (6 to 8 oz. each), rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons  finely chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1  English (seedless) cucumber
  • 1/2  cup  bottled cocktail onions, drained
  • 2  tablespoons  cider vinegar
  • 1  teaspoon  sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt, plus more to taste
  • About 2 teaspoons olive oil


1. Zest lemons to yield 2 tbsp. zest. Sprinkle salmon fillets with 1 1/2 tbsp. zest (set remaining zest and whole lemons aside) and 1 1/2 tbsp. dill, dividing evenly among fillets and patting to adhere. Wrap fillets in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight. 2. Slice cucumber paper-thin on a mandoline or other hand held slicer. Cut onions in half. In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add cucumber, onions, remaining lemon zest and dill, and toss gently to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. 3. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect heat. If using a gas grill, turn all burners to high and close lid. When the temperature inside the grill reaches 400°, lift lid and turn off one of the burners, creating the indirect-heat area. If using a charcoal grill, light 50 to 60 briquettes and let burn until just covered with ash, 20 to 30 minutes. Mound them to one side, leaving a cleared area for indirect cooking. 4. Fold two 12- by 18-in. pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil in half width-wise to form rectangles. Using the tip of a small knife, make holes in rectangles about 2 in. apart and widen each hole to the size of a dime. Grease foil with olive oil; set over direct heat for 2 minutes. 5. Brush salmon skins with oil. Set 2 fillets, skin side down, on each foil rectangle. Cover grill (if using charcoal, open vents on lid) and cook fish until skin is light brown and really sizzling, 5 to 6 minutes. Using tongs, slide foil to indirect heat, cover, and cook until all but top 1/4 in. is cooked, 3 to 8 minutes. Slide fish back over direct heat, cover, and cook until fish is cooked through (cut to test) and skin is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. 6. Transfer foil with salmon to a rimless baking sheet and, sliding an offset cake spatula or other thin spatula between salmon skin and foil, very gently free fish from foil. Season each fillet with salt and a few drops of juice from a remaining lemon. Serve with cucumber salad. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 375 (48% from fat)
Protein: 39g
Fat: 20g (sat 4.1)
Carbohydrate: 6.7g
Fiber: 1.6g
Sodium: 980mg
Cholesterol: 111mg
Courtesy of Sunset Magazine


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