Big pieces of fish are particularly well suited to the large cooking space you’ve got on the barbecue. We’ve invested in a fish basket for the barbecue but when we cooked this we didn’t have one and it was tricky to turn. If you don’t have a fish basket you might find it easier to cut the side of salmon in half.
We also really like this without the cucumber yoghurt and served with some champ (mashed potatoes with scallions and loads of butter for any of you non-Irish readers).
Wine suggestion: White and fresh, but also with a full body and a good texture. Out of fashion somewhat we tried a Chablis … a 1er Cru Montmains from Domaine Bois d’Yver that we had lying around. It was a couple of years old but the extra age added extra layers of depth to a wine that was still fresh and dynamic. If you’d prefer a red then lightly chill a young Pinot Noir for 20-30 minutes and you’ll also have a treat.
Barbecued Side of Salmon with Cucumber Yoghurt – serves 4-6
- 1.5kg side of salmon, scaled and pinboned (order this from your fishmonger)
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- large bunch of basil/fennel tops, finely chopped
- 1 cucumber, peeled lengthwise at intervals to make stripes
- 300ml natural yoghurt
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- small bunch of mint/oregano, leaves picked and chopped
Brush the bars of the barbecue clean or your fish will stick (the fish basket will help with this), then light it and get it nice and hot.
Put the salmon skin-side down on a board and slash the flesh side with a sharp knife, about 1cm deep. Scatter the lemon zest and most of the fennel tops/basil over the salmon, then push into the cuts that you made with your fingers. Rub the fish lightly all over with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
Put the salmon on the barbecue, skin-side down. Check it after about 4 minutes by which time the skin should have got nice and crispy. Turn the fish carefully and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes. You can carefully take the skin off the salmon at this stage and place it back on the heat to get really crispy.
Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Chop the seedless cucumber and mix with the yoghurt. Add some lemon juice, half the chopped chilli, and half the mint/oregano. Drizzle over some good olive oil and season well.
Break the salmon into portions with a fork and serve with the cucumber yoghurt, sprinkled with the remaining chilli and herbs. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve with a piece of the crispy skin if you like.
(Original recipe from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2007.)