Grilled Salmon with Spicy Honey-Basil Sauce

Photo: Krause, Johansen

Cook this grilled salmon with spicy honey-basil sauce on the backyard grill or under the broiler for a quick and easy dinner. You can buy salmon as fillets or as steaks.


  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • ½ cup packed fresh basil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 small red chile or 1 medium jalapeno, chopped (include the seeds if you like it spicy)

  • 4 skinless salmon fillets, 4 ounces each

  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, diced

  • ¼ cup yellow bell pepper, diced

  • ¼ cup watercress leaves, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Salt and ground white pepper, to taste


  1. Place pine nuts, honey, lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, basil, garlic, and chile in a blender and process until the mixture is pureed. Spoon the sauce over the salmon, and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours, turning twice.

  2. Place bell peppers and watercress in a bowl. Toss with vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cover and refrigerate while the salmon cooks.

  3. Oil the grill rack and preheat the grill to medium-high. Remove the salmon from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides.

  4. Place the salmon on the grill rack and grill until opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes on each side. Brush occasionally with reserved marinade. Garnish with bell pepper and watercress mixture before serving.

Cook's Notes

Cook salmon that's 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick for 5 to 8 minutes total; cook salmon that's 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick for 8 to 12 minutes total. When broiling, keep fish 4 inches from flame.

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