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Grilled Whole Salmon with Red-Pepper Aioli

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Serves ten.

  • To learn more, read:
    How to Grill a Whole Fish
  • by Mima LeCocq from Fine Cooking
    Issue 21

Measure your grill before trying to cook a very large fish. I find that a 7-pounder is about the biggest that will fit on my Weber at home.

For the aioli:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1-1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, grilled, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salmon:
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • One 7-lb. whole salmon, cleaned and boned
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Oil for brushing

To make the aioli, whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl and very slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking all the while. When all the oil has been incorporated, add the lemon juice, garlic, and bell pepper; season with salt and pepper.

Heat the grill, making sure it’s clean. The coals should be medium hot.

To prepare the fish, layer the onion, parsley, garlic, and lemon in the belly cavity of the salmon; season with salt and pepper. Wrap three or four pieces of kitchen twine around the fish, knotting each piece tightly and trimming any excess twine. Brush the outside of the fish with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Put the fish on the hot grill and cook over medium-hot coals until done, turning once, about 20 minutes. on each side. Serve hot or cold with the red-pepper aioli.

Drink Suggestions

Try a less expensive Pinot Noir (such as BV’s Beautour Carneros or Bouchaine’s Q.C. Fly), a southern French style red (Les Côtes Sauvages from California’s Edmunds St. John), a South African Pinotage (a red hybrid that’s a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault), or an Italian Dolcetto from the Piedmont.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 800; Fat (g): 56; Fat Calories (kcal): 510; Saturated Fat (g): 8; Protein (g): 65; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 34; Carbohydrates (g): 4; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 12; Sodium (mg): 470; Cholesterol (mg): 220; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Philippe Houzé

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