By Marie Rama, Bryan Miller

Grilling seafood can impart great taste. Note, though, that shrimp require minimal cooking time. It takes only a few minutes before they turn pink and succulent. Be sure not to overcook them, or they could become rubbery.

To prepare shrimp for grilling, you may want to remove the bitter black vein that runs along the outside. Some cooks do, some don’t. In grilling, the vein likely burns off. You can leave the tails on, or pull them off.

You want to double-thread the shrimp onto skewers so that the skewer pierces both ends of the shrimp (which prevents them from sliding off). If you use wooden skewers, soak them for 30 minutes in cold water and cover the tips with foil to prevent burning. (Note: Don’t pack the shrimp too tightly on the skewers; allow a little space between each piece so the heat can circulate and to ensure even cooking.)

Get creative with the Grilled Shrimp Skewers recipe by alternating each shrimp with veggies, or even fruit. Try chunks of onion and cherry tomatoes, or cubes of pineapple. You can also serve shrimp skewers with a dipping sauce, such as melted butter with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, barbecue sauce, or Asian chili sauce (available in the Asian food section of your grocery store).

The Grilled Tuna with Niçoise Dressing recipe is a variation on the classic French dish and makes a delicious light lunch. If you don’t want to fire up the grill, you can also make it under the broiler. (Keep in mind that some people prefer grilled tuna very rare, and others medium, so don’t overcook it.)

Other types of fish and shellfish work with this recipe as well. Choose those that can hold up to grilling, such as firm-fleshed salmon, halibut, swordfish, mako shark, and monkfish. Avoid delicate fish such as sole, which tends to flake and fall apart on the grill.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Preparation time: About 10 minutes

Cook time: About 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Oil for the grill rack

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pound medium shrimp (the size that equals about 20 per pound)

  1. Oil the grill grid and prepare a medium fire in a charcoal or gas grill.

  2. Combine the butter, lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl. Reserve half of the mixture.

  3. 3Peel and devein the shrimp, and double-thread them onto four skewers.

  4. Brush the shrimp on both sides with half of the lemon-butter mixture.

  5. Place skewers on the grate and grill for about 8 minutes, or until golden, turning the skewers once halfway through the cooking time.

  6. Remove to a platter and drizzle with the remaining lemon-butter mixture. Serve immediately.

Per serving: Calories 188 (From Fat 111); Fat 12g (Saturated 7g); Cholesterol 199mg; Sodium 195mg; Carbohydrate 1g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 18g.

Grilled Tuna with Niçoise Dressing

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus marinating time

Cook time: 6–7 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

1 green onion, trimmed and minced

1 tablespoon finely chopped black olives

1 tablespoon finely chopped capers

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon finely chopped anchovy fillets or anchovy paste (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil

4 tuna steaks, about 1-inch thick (1-1/2 pounds total)

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

Salt and black pepper

Oil for the grill rack

  1. Make the dressing by combining in a bowl the green onion, olives, and capers.

    Stir in the vinegar and black pepper. Beat in the anchovy fillets or paste (if desired) and parsley and then 1/2 cup of the oil. Set aside.

  2. Put the tuna on a roasting pan and season with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, thyme, and salt and black pepper to taste.

    Turn the steaks to coat well. Let sit, refrigerated, for about 15 minutes.

  3. Brush the grill grid with oil and heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high.

  4. Place the tuna on the grill and cook for about 3 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the fillets and grill for 3 minutes on the other side.

    Remove one of the steaks and test for doneness by making a small incision in the center. Medium-rare tuna appears opaque on the outside and reddish-pink in the center; an instant-read thermometer will register 125 degrees F.

  5. When the tuna steaks have cooked, transfer them to warm serving dishes. Spoon half of the dressing over the steaks. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.

Per serving: Calories 454 (From Fat 288); Fat 32g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 74mg; Sodium 200mg; Carbohydrate 2g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 38g.