Cedar-plank salmon

Sometimes simple is best. If you want to be sure about how done the salmon is, you can check it after 15 minutes, but I've never had one that wasn't perfect – still a little translucent in the center of the thickest part of the fillet – after 20 minutes on the grill. Cedar planks are available at well-stocked grocery and cookware stores such as Whole Foods Markets, Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma. 

Serves 2-3.

Ingredients

1 salmon fillet, about 1 pound

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Lemon wedges for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Two hours before you want to grill, put the cedar plank in a baking dish and cover it with cold water. Let it soak for at least two hours.

Light a charcoal grill. When the coals are white-hot, spread them out and place a grill over them. Remove the cedar plank from the water, place the salmon on the plank and season the fish generously with salt and pepper. Place the plank on the grill, cover and cook for about 20 minutes. If you want to be extra-sure about the doneness, after 15 minutes or so use a thin knife to separate the flesh at the thickest part of the fish; it should still be a bit translucent in the center, but opaque on the edges. Remove from the grill, transfer to a platter or wooden board, and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.