You can adjust this recipe to accommodate any size salmon fillet. You can also prepare the topping and place on individual salmon fillets lined up on the plank as desired.  

One Cedar Plank – soaked in water for at least 2 to 6 hours; place a heavy object on the plank to keep in submerged under water.   

  • ·         2.5 pound salmon fillet or approximate
  • ·         Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper 


  • ·         1 large bunch of fresh cilantro, rinsed and patted dry ( or 2 smaller bunches)
  • ·         2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • ·         3-4 cloves whole peeled fresh garlic
  • ·         1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (Greek yogurt is thicker and will not get runny)
  • ·         Zest of 2 limes
  • ·         1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about 3)
  • ·         2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ·         ½ cup blanched almonds, dry roasted peanuts, or cashews  

Take the whole bunch of cilantro and cut off the stems with one smooth cut.  (The thinner, more tender cilantro stems near the leaves are fine to leave intact.)  Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to blend into a smooth paste.  

Preparing and Grilling The Salmon 

  • ·         Preheat the grill to medium high heat.
  • ·         Blot the salmon fillet dry with a paper towel and then season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • ·         Place the salmon, skin side down on the plank.
  • ·         Pat the topping on the entire top surface of the salmon,  using all the pesto to create a thick topping.
  • ·         Place plank directly in the center of the preheated grill and close the lid.  

Grill on medium high heat until the salmon is cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the salmon,) or until the salmon is opaque.  Do not overcook.  To test for doneness, open the grill and use the tip of a sharp knife to peek into the middle of the salmon fillet.   

The topping should become golden brown (but not burnt!).  If the topping is getting overly brown before the salmon is done, then move to a cooler spot on the grill and continue cooking over indirect heat until done. 

Thank you to:  Chef Kathleen Shiefler and: