Summer Cookout

It's that time of the year where spring meets summer...at least in the hotter coastal states (YAY CALI!). The 90° weather demands for grilling and we have a few recipes to try whether you want a quick dinner, a date night, a pool party or just a dish to bring to the family reunion! 

My favorite fish is by far salmon. My aunt loves fish of all types, so I can probably attribute my introduction to it from her. However, I am not a fan of fish in general. Maybe it's the texture, maybe it's the flavor, but unless it's deep-fried and flakey, I want no parts in it--especially if the bone is still in it. #boujee

But salmon is different and I actually prefer it not fried. If I can find some quality salmon available, it's a go-to for a healthier/light protein (it contains those "good" Omega 3 fatty acids everyone talks about) and I'll take it smoked, seared, steamed, baked, but preferably grilled on a cedar plank (again...boujee). The salmon I prepared is a great pescatarian option for a cookout. It's flavored with garlic, lemon, herbs, and olive oil and paired with grilled vegetables.

The Salmon

Ingredients:

1 long filet of salmon*

3 garlic cloves

3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 tbsp Lemon Juice (or juice of 2 lemons)

1/4 bunch of parsley (or a quarter cup)

salt

pepper

*if you can find quality wild-caught it will definitely be better, but get what looks fresh and is affordable


  1. After removing any excess bones your fishmonger may not have gotten, cut and portion out the salmon. I portioned mine into eight (nearly) equal pieces. Place these evenly in a lightly oiled pan skin side down where they will marinate.
  2. Throw your peeled garlic cloves, lemon juice, parsley, and olive oil into a food processor or blender. This should be blended pretty finely, as long as the parsley doesn't look roughly chopped. Then, salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Pour the marinade over the fish and let it sit for at least 24 hours before you're ready to grill.
  4. Grill the salmon for about seven minutes on each side on medium heat. 

Tips for Grilling

When grilling, especially if it's a public grill, I suggest a thin perforated sheet pan like the one I used. You can get them cheap at the dollar store or just use some foil. This makes it easier to grill the skin. Although the fish is oiled, it may stick to the grill.

Also, always work with delicate fish using tongs, I don't recommend a spatula on the grill. You can be fancy and see if you can hook up those grill marks, but if you're cooking for a lot of people, it's easier not to.


The Veggies

My vegetables of choice are zucchini, yellow squash and asparagus--my favorite vegetable of all time!

I marinated each with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Because of the way I cut the zucchini, which was short discs on a bias, I also used a perforated sheet pan to grill those as well. Kitchen supply stores also sell baskets if you want to get fancier, but something perforated is always the way to go with small or skinny veggies so they don't fall in the grates.

Other great flavor profiles that would work well with this dish are a sweet Asian glaze like teriyaki or experimenting with some chiles. Whatever you decide, simple or elaborate, I hope this recipe has inspired you to run to your nearest seafood market with grilled salmon in mind.