You may have plunked a few salmon burgers on the grill last weekend, but typically meat gets all the glory at Memorial Day barbecues. These light, healthy fish dishes are exactly what you’ll crave as the warm-weather months heat up.
Fish Tacos with Watermelon Salsa (above, from Food Network Magazine)
The chipotle-chile powder-dusted sea bass stuffed inside these corn tortillas is jacked up even more by the presence of jalapeno-red onion-cilantro salsa. But, a burst of refreshing watermelon cools it all down.
Grilled Salmon with Sherry Vinegar-Honey Glaze and Spicy Tomato Relish
Good-for-you grilled salmon may sound ho-hum, but a spicy glaze — made with honey, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard and ancho chile powder — gives these fillets an intriguing jolt. Tomato relish, tricked out with Spanish onions and red pepper flakes, adds another layer of balanced heat.
Until you finally get around to planning that Maine getaway, this lobster roll will do the job of transporting you to New England. Chunks of lobster meat are dressed with chopped scallions, bright lemon juice and ground black pepper, but in a lighter twist, mayonnaise is melded with regular or Greek-style nonfat yogurt.
Grilled Shrimp with Mango, Lime and Radish Salsa
Grilled shrimp, steeped in a marinade of extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper, would be a delightfully simple summer treat alone. But pairing it with lime-mango-radish salsa spiked with chile powder and fresh cilantro takes it to a zesty new level.
Swordfish with Tomatoes and Capers
Olive-oil-brushed grilled swordfish is anything but ordinary when sitting atop a piquant sauce of onion, fennel, minced garlic, plum tomatoes and salty capers. Adding decidedly seasonal appeal: a sprinkling of fresh basil leaves.
Tuna Burgers with Carrot-Ginger Sauce
These refreshing tuna burgers, elevated by a blend of olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, cilantro and ginger, are a perpetual hit in the alterna-burger world. Once they leave the grill, they are nestled into buns and topped with avocado and sprouts tossed in tangy carrot-ginger-sesame oil sauce.
Grilled Shrimp with Chili Cocktail Sauce
Shrimp cocktail never gets old, but in this rendition the party staple is amped by spicy, ketchup-like chili sauce laced with horseradish, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Just store it in the fridge until you’re ready to drizzle it over the heaping platter of shrimp dotted with smoked paprika.
Alia Akkam is a New York-based writer who covers the intersection of food, drink, travel and design. She launched her career by opening boxes of Jamie Oliver books as a Food Network intern.