Let Barbecue Season Begin!

I know some of you gas grillers go year-round, but my husband is a purist. Meaning, only charcoal in a tidy pyramid and only on days that are sunny, dry and decently warm. (Definitions of "decently" vary--in 2011 it includes any temperature above 60F.)

Photo courtesy of Loki Fish

Tonight the first salmon goes on the grill, and if you have the same idea, you'll be happy to hear that both Thursday and Saturday markets will feature fresh salmon this week! On Thursdays you'll find Two If By Seafoods. Shannon Ford captains F/V Paul Revere in Bristol Bay, Alaska, a region swept by the radar from Dutch Harbor made familiar to many on the television show The Deadliest Catch. Dad Ernie expects Sockeye, Coho, and some King Salmon to available to market shoppers. On Saturdays you'll meet Amy of Loki Fish, and Amy also expects fresh Sockeye and possibly other varieties. Another treat? Fresh ikura, or salted salmon roe.

A friend of mine prepares her salmon in foil packets under a layer of thinly-sliced sweet onions and a splash of soy sauce. Delicious and easy to clean up.

In our family we 're pretty fond of the crust formed on grilled fish, so we tend to marinate and then grill on a rack. One tasty recipe that can be either packet-steamed in foil or just plain grilled is:

Asian Salmon
(Serves 6)

2 lbs fresh salmon fillets
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 T brown sugar
1 T honey
2 T soy sauce
3 T Dijon or flavored mustard
2 t fresh ginger, grated or minced
2 t minced fresh garlic

Combine marinade ingredients and let sit in the refrigerator up to two hours or at room temperature for twenty minutes. If cooking in foil, make a packet with a double bottom and loosely tent the foil over the top. Otherwise, place the salmon on a rack and slide it onto the grill. Cook until fish flakes.

While we're on the subject of barbecues, I love beans on the side. Alvarez Organic Farm offers a variety of dried beans, perfect for refried beans, baked beans, or just cooked beans for salads. Joe recommended the Mayo Coba butter bean with a little garlic and tomato in a salad. I gave the black beans a try, cooking them in a  few hours in the crock-pot and filling burritos with them. Because their beans are fresher, you can reduce cooking times, and they often don't need the overnight soak!

Add some fresh-baked bread with Golden Glen garlic butter and tossed greens with Market vegetables, and you're set. May this be the first of many sunny days...