From hot dogs to halloumi and wild leeks to watermelon, just about every provision can be made more delicious on the grill. My recent obsession is fish; a short trip to the grill takes its delicate flavor profile for a wild ride, imparting a char and an intoxicatingly smoky aroma that can’t be replicated. Another reason to love fish on the ‘cue: the versatile protein also works well in an extensive range of preparations. Here are five of my favorite methods:
- Grill it whole. If you’re new to grilling seafood, it doesn’t get much easier than grilling a whole fish. Anoint it with oil, sprinkle it with salt, and toss it on the grill. Once cooked, all it needs is a sprinkling (if that) of herbs and a squeeze of lemon.
- Grill a bunch of smaller, sustainable fish. Yes, that’d be heads, tails, and all. Serve it simply with flaky Maldon sea salt and lemon juice. Here’s a step-by-step for how to do it the Spanish way.
- Shape patties for burgers. Pulse a firm-fleshed, meaty fish (such as salmon or tuna) in a food processor, then season it with salt and pepper. Pack the ground fish into a mold, then grill it until it’s cooked through and serve it between burger buns.
- Grill the fish in a packet. This method will yield similar effects to the healthy French en papillote preparation, except you’ll want to wrap the fish in foil rather than parchment packets to prevent burning.
- Use a cedar plank. Cooking on a cedar plank will impart even more dimension to the flavor of grilled fish. Purchase inexpensive, aromatic cedar planks, presoak them to avoid smoking, then cook the fish over a closed grill for extra earthiness.