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Maple Lemon Grilled Salmon

Maple Lemon Grilled Salmon

Summer 2019

By: Jennifer MacKenzie

They say salmon makes you smarter—you’ll definitely feel smarter when you grill up a delicious dinner and prep two more meals at the same time! This one is so easy, and fancy enough for company, that you might even want to host a party just to have the excuse to serve it (and have leftovers). Grilling on foil is the easiest way to get a large fish on and off the grill and avoid flare-ups, especially with this sweet marinade. As well, the skin sticks to the foil, letting you slide a spatula between the skin and the fish to lift the fish off with ease. Substitute steelhead trout if you like, using two sides of trout in place of the salmon, or sub 2 smaller sides of salmon if you can’t find a large one.


Serves 4 with leftovers for 2 recipes

3 lemons
⅓ cup (80 mL) pure maple syrup
Freshly ground pepper
1 large side of salmon, about 3 lbs (1.36 kg), skin on (see TIP)
Canola oil


1 Finely grate the zest from 1 lemon into a large shallow dish. Squeeze juice from half of that lemon, about 2 tbsp (30 mL), and add to the dish. Reserve remaining lemon half.

2 Add maple syrup to lemon mixture and season with pepper. Stir well to combine.

3 Rinse fish in cool water and pat dry with paper towel. Place in syrup mixture with the flesh-side down, swishing to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 1 day, swishing to redistribute marinade periodically if possible.

4 Preheat barbecue grill to medium-high, about 400°F (200°C).

5 Cut remaining 2 whole lemons into quarters lengthwise, and cut remaining lemon half in half. Brush lemons with oil and season lightly with salt.

6 Place a large sheet of foil on a baking sheet and place salmon on the foil with the skin-side down. Reserve marinade in dish. Season salmon with salt.

7 Grill lemons, turning lemon to brown all sides, for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set aside.

8 Lift foil with salmon from the baking sheet onto the grill and drizzle generously with some of reserved marinade (discard the rest of the marinade). Using the tip of a knife, poke several small holes in the foil around the salmon to allow juices to run out. Cover with lid and grill salmon for about 10 minutes per inch (2.5 cm) of thickness, or until slightly pink in the thickest part, or to desired doneness.

9 Reserve about one-third of the cooked salmon and 4 of the grilled lemon wedges for Salmon and Asparagus Fusilli (recipe below) and one-third of the salmon for Fish Tacos with Pineapple Slaw (recipe below) or the Quick Ideas (see below).

10 Serve remaining hot salmon with grilled lemon wedges to squeeze overtop.

11 Let leftovers cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

If the salmon doesn’t have skin, cut a piece of parchment just slightly smaller than the salmon and place it between the foil and the salmon to make the salmon easier to lift off the foil for serving.

Serves 4 with leftovers for 2 recipes


Fresh asparagus and dill are classic matches for salmon. A light white wine cream sauce lets the salmon shine in this simple yet elegant pasta. If you don’t have le_over grilled lemons, squeeze fresh lemon overtop.

10 oz (285 g) fusilli or other pasta
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
2 large shallots or 1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lb (455 g) asparagus, trimmed and cut into
2-inch (5-cm) lengths
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine
1 cup (250 mL) 35% cream
⅓ recipe Maple Lemon Grilled Salmon, broken into chunks
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh dill, divided, approx. 4 leftover grilled lemon wedges


1 Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.

2 Meanwhile, heat oil and butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add shallot and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until soft. Add asparagus, garlic, ½ tsp (2 mL) salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for about 2 minutes or until asparagus is bright green.

3 Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring. Pour in cream and return to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring often, for about 3 minutes or until sauce is slightly reduced and asparagus is tender-crisp. Reduce heat to low.

4 Drain pasta and add to skillet, stirring gently to coat. Add salmon and 1 tbsp (15 mL) dill and fold gently just to coat with sauce and slightly warm salmon (trying not to break up pieces of fish too much). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5 Serve in warmed bowls, sprinkled with more dill, to taste, and with grilled lemon wedges to squeeze overtop.

Serves 4


Taco Tuesday never tasted so good and was never so easy to prep. With your salmon cooked ahead you just need to pop it back on the barbecue or in the oven to warm it up and stir up a quick slaw. Add some regular tomato salsa and guacamole for those who think they’re mandatory taco fillings. Set the fillings out with the warmed tortillas and extra hot sauce for everyone to custom-build their own tacos.

3 cups (750 mL) thinly sliced Savoy or napa cabbage
1 cup (250 mL) julienned pineapple, about 6 thin rings
¼ English cucumber, julienned
¼ cup (60 mL) sour cream or plain yogurt
1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime or lemon zest
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lime or lemon juice
Hot pepper sauce
⅓ recipe Maple Lemon Grilled Salmon, broken into chunks
⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) chili powder, or to taste
8 to 12 small corn tortillas

1 Preheat barbecue grill to medium or oven to 350°F (180°C).

2 Combine cabbage, pineapple, cucumber, sour cream, lime zest and lime juice in a large bowl. Season with about ½ tsp (2 mL) salt and hot pepper sauce, to taste. Let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until slightly wilted and flavours blend (you can cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours).

3 Place salmon on a large piece of foil and sprinkle with chili powder and season with salt, then wrap into packet. Wrap tortillas in a separate foil packet. Warm on the barbecue or in the oven for about 10 minutes, flipping packets once if using the barbecue.

4 Season slaw with more salt, if necessary. Divide salmon between tortillas and top with slaw and more hot sauce, if desired. 

More Quick ideas

Make a sandwich filling with leftover salmon, mayonnaise, lemon juice and diced pickles.

Add leftover salmon and chopped fresh herbs to an omelette or frittata.

Serves 4

What to Serve

  1. Babich Sauvignon Blanc
    750 ml bottle

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