Just once a year and for only about three to four weeks, we are graced with fresh Copper River salmon. Such a short time to enjoy a food so memorable in flavor. Loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids, this salmon is some of the best tasting in the world due to its natural store of oils and body fat necessary for it to survive in the cold Copper River that stretches almost 300 miles in length.
Cucumber and dill offset the rich flavor of the Copper River salmon. The sauce ingredients stir together easily and can be made ahead of serving time to develop flavor. Basting the salmon with a simple mixture of butter, brown sugar, lemon zest and dill further enhances its naturally rich flavor.
Grill the salmon first on the flesh side. Then carefully turn it over onto a piece of foil to finish cooking the other side. This prevents the skin from sticking to the grill and when you slide a spatula under the foil to transfer the cooked fillet to a serving platter, the skin slides easily off of the salmon.
- 1-1/2 cups plain yogurt
- 1 cup peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
- 1 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dill
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon dill
- 1-1/2 pounds Copper River salmon fillet
- Fresh ground black pepper
- For the sauce, stir together yogurt, cucumber, honey, garlic, dill and cayenne pepper; season with salt. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to develop flavor.
- Stir together butter, brown sugar, lemon zest and dill.
- Preheat grill to medium heat; flesh side down put salmon on the grill and cook just until halfway done. Turn salmon, brush with butter sauce and season with salt and pepper.
- Grill until salmon is just cooked through, about 10 minutes cooking time per inch of thickness.
- Serve salmon with cucumber dill sauce.