Fennel-Spiced Salmon with Gazpacho Salad

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So for the second day in a row we decided to cook out of our new Weber cookbook and it did not disappoint.  The weather was so hot here yesterday that I was unsure if I would even be hungry for dinner.  We went to a local park and had a picnic for lunch and you would have thought we ran a marathon how we looked when returned home.  This is probably why we chose a light fish dish for dinner.  All the rage now on the cooking shows is deconstructing dishes and therefore I was a little skeptical when I saw a gazpacho salad.  Now I love gazpacho and knew I would enjoy all the flavors, but my worry lied with whether the hubby would enjoy it or not.  The salmon was perfectly seasoned and the gazpacho salad was cool and refreshing.  These two components on their own may not be my favorite, but together we both agreed they were the perfect bite.

Fennel-Spiced Salmon with Gazpacho Salad

from “Weber’s Charcoal Grilling – The Art of Cooking with Live Fire”

Salad:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup  1/4 inch-diced red onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 cups  1/4 inch-diced tomatoes

1 cup  1/4 inch-diced zucchini squash

1 cup seeded, 1/4 inch-diced cucumber

1 cup 1/4 inch-diced red bell pepper

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

Tabasco sauce

Rub

1 teaspoon ground fennel seed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon pure chili powder

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 skinless salmon fillets, about 8 ounces each and 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick

Extra virgin olive oil

1.  In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, warm the oil.  Cook the onion until translucent but not golden, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring occasionally.  Add the tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, and the red bell pepper.  Cook the mixture for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally, to draw some liquid from the tomatoes.  Remove the skillet from  the heat.  Add the vinegar and dill.  Transfer the salad mixture to a large bowl and chill in refrigerator for about 1 hour or as long as 8 hours (more liquid will draw from the vegetables during this time).  remove the bowl from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.  Taste the salad and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, and Tabasco.

2.  In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.  Brush each of the salmon fillets evenly with oil.  Season them on both sides with the rub.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

3.  Prepare a two-zone fire for high heat.

4.  Brush the cooking grate clean.  Grill the fillets over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until cooked to your desired doneness, 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare, turning once after 6 to 7 minutes.  Swap their positions as needed for even cooking.  Serve warm with the salad, using as much or as little of the vegetable juices as you like.

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