Beat the Heat

Summer is tough to tolerate with its high heat and excessive humidity, driving many inside on those unbearable days. But that doesn’t exactly match up with the seasonal agenda of grilling out as much as possible.

Fear not — there are lighter meal options for summer heat that are still full of flavor. In this recipe, I’ve paired the delicate texture and flavor of salmon with a bright, fruity texture of pineapple salsa. These two flavors complement each other extremely well. I’ve also found the perfect drink accompaniment that won’t weigh you down or make you feel like you have to wait an hour to get back in the pool (no one really does that, right?).

For most, the mention of a rosé brings to mind an overly sweet, blush, feminine wine only sweet palates will enjoy. On the contrary, a quality dry rosé can be the perfect blend of both the red and white wine worlds ­— the complexity and lack of sweetness of a red, paired with the quality citrus bite of a light white. This particular rosé, a Cabernet Franc rosé from Revelry out of Washington State, complements every subtle nuance found in this particular salmon dish, while simultaneously not overpowering any of them.

• Salmon filets (skin-on) 7-10 oz. each
• 1 ripe pineapple (2-3 days after purchasing should be perfect)
• 1 jalapeño
• 1/2 red pepper
• 1/2 red onion, peeled
• 1 bunch cilantro, leaves only
• Juice from one lime

The salsa can be made ahead of time, as it gets better after it sits for a day or so. Begin by removing the seeds and stem from the jalapeño and red pepper. Slice the skin from your pineapple, and carefully slice around the core. If included, the core brings a very tough texture and bitter flavor to the salsa. Mince all vegetables, then toss together in a large bowl with salt, pepper, and lime juice. The majority of this should be pineapple, but feel free to adjust proportions to your liking.

When you’re ready to grill, get your grates nice and hot (at least 425 degrees). Generously season your salmon with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a bit of ancho chili powder. Rub the seasoning in with a bit of olive oil, and place on the grill, skin side down. Once you see a bit of color form above the skin, it’s time to flip. When you flip, don’t worry about the skin any more, it should come right off. Grilling 3-5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your filets will give you perfectly cooked salmon in less than 10 minutes. Serve topped with one to two spoonfuls of pineapple salsa.

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