Planked Salmon Sliders with Rosemary Aioli
I found myself with leftover salmon, along with a few slider sized Brioche rolls, after Rosé Fest, so I invited a friend over for a lunch of Planked Salmon Sliders with Rosemary Aioli (of all the flavored aiolis I’ve made, rosemary is my favorite with salmon). Grilled salmon has always been on the Rosé Fest menus, but last year I began planking it, which from that point on became the only way to grill salmon for me. Everything I’d heard about the magic the smoky cedar adds to the fish, is absolutely true. And I found the sliders so charming, that I think they’ll be come a part of my small plates repertoire.
We sat on the deck, enjoying the view, the mild weather and the sliders with the remainder of Wente Vineyards’ Small Lot Pinot Noir Rosé (aah, the So Cal lifestyle…), which Wente descibes as having a crisp, cleansing acidity, along with fruity and floral notes, and a bright, lingering finish (hmmm-right there describes just why I love Rosés). Now, I have wine geek friends who insist that Pinot Noir is the only thing to drink with salmon, and have heard others say that Pinot make the best California Rosé. I don’t know about all of that, but we sure enjoyed a pleasant afternoon. Recipe and slider assembly on the following page…
Planked Salmon Sliders
- Planked Salmon*
- Rosemary Aioli*
- Wild Arugula
- Slider Sized Brioche Rolls
Cut slider sized portions of the salmon for the sliders. Place on Rosemary Aioli slathered Brioche rolls and top with a few leaves of Wild Arugula. Enjoy!
- 1 side of fresh salmon, skinned
- A teaspoon or so of brining spice mix
- Two 12 x 12 inch pieces of cedar planking
- Soak the cedar plank** for 2 hours, keeping it immersed. Prepare your charcoal for grilling at medium-high heat.
- Cut the side of salmon in half to fit on a cedar plank cut 12 x 12.
- When you’re ready to cook the salmon, place the plank on the hot grate and leave it there until it smell smokey, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the plank over (it’ll be slightly charred) and place the first cut half of the salmon side on top. Cover the grill and cook until the fish is cooked through, about 12 or 13 minutes. Check the plank occasionally. If the edges start to catch fire (it’s never happened to me, but others caution regarding this), mist with water, or move the plank to a cooler part of the grill. Repeat with the second piece of fish.
** You don’t need to go to a gourmet cooking store and buy cedar planks with some celebrity chef’s name on the package. You can buy cedar planks at a local lumber yard for about a third of the price. If you can’t find the planks, cedar fencing will do, although they are not as wide as the planks. Have the lumber yard cut the planks into 12” lengths for you. You’ll have enough plank pieces for the rest of your summer salmon grilling.
Brining Spice Mix
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 scant teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 large cloves garlic (or more if you are brave)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped rosemary leaves
- Freshly ground white pepper, kosher salt, additional lemon juice to taste
- Add egg and yolk to food processor bowl. Pour the lemon juice over them and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Mince the garlic, then sprinkle @ 1 teaspoon kosher salt over it, and mash to a paste. Add it to the eggs and yolks along with the mustard.
- Slowly drizzle the oil in through feed tube of the food processor, until an emulsion forms.
- Add 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped rosemary leaves
- Finish with and a few more drops of lemon juice, to taste