Serves eight to 10 as an appetizer
2 to 2½ pounds salmon fillet, in one piece preferably the thickest part, pinbones removed
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
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½ English cucumber, seeded and diced
8 small radishes, diced
1½ teaspoons kosher salt + more to taste
½ cup (4 ounces) crème fraîche or thick sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1½ teaspoons grated lemon zest
1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon finely chopped thyme or tarragon
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch cayenne pepper
1. For the salmon: Preheat the grill to low (preferably 250-300), leaving the middle or one side unheated for indirect heat.
2. Rub the salmon well with oil and season with salt and pepper. Use heavy-duty foil to create a pan by folding up the sides and securing them at the corners. Place the salmon on top of the foil, skin side down, and place on the grill; cover and cook over indirect heat until the salmon is just barely firm to the touch and the juices begin to collect on top, about 40-50 minutes. If using briquettes, add more if necessary to maintain the heat. Remove the salmon from the grill and let rest at room temperature at least 10 minutes or up to three hours.
3. For the sauce: Place the cucumbers, radishes and salt in a bowl. Toss well, then let sit for 15 minutes. Transfer to a colander, rinse the salt off, drain and let dry at least 10 minutes.
4. Place the crème fraîche in a bowl; add the chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, pepper and cayenne. Beat until smooth, then fold in the radishes and cucumbers, seasoning with more salt, if needed.
5. Divide the salmon into pieces and serve with the sauce.
Nutritional information per serving: 204 calories, 19 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat (4 g saturated), 65 mg cholesterol, 156 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.
Tara Duggan, The San Francisco Chronicle