Summer Recipes That Don't Suck

by Sean St. Onge

Grilling season is in full stride. As a double grill owner myself (charcoal smoker and gas grill) you must be like me. Eyelids peeled on Food Network for anything and everything “Grilling Masters” show related. 

Now I do not expect everyone to have a sweet super grill set up like Bobby Flay. But, this like so many other things in life- just takes a bit of planning, prep, and most of all, the want to do it.

Want some sweet meals that (unless you are a hardcore New Englander like myself who grills in the winter) you essentially only get the joy to make for yourselves for a few months a year? I mean, so what that I like to grill my Cheerios and fruit in the morning? Big whoop...wanna fight about it?


There are two sides of the aisle when it comes to grilling that people sway to and I have noticed the usual complaints are:

“I don’t have enough time to get the grill started”
“It is like a whole set up”
“So much back and forth”

To which I reply…


Meal prepping could not get anymore fun than knowing you are going to light things on fire! For me, this is the most exciting kind of meal prepping possible!


Here are a couple of recipes to add to your list for this summer...

Grilled Swordfish with a Mint & Basil Chimichurri :

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (5 to 6-ounces each) swordfish steaks

Prepare the grill (medium-high heat). Chop up the mint, basil, & garlic in small shreds. Whisk the oil, mint, lemon juice, basil, and garlic in a medium bowl to blend. Season the lemon and olive oil mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.

With half of the mixture, brush the swordfish steaks with 2 tablespoons of the lemon and olive oil mixture. With the remaining mixture, set aside to dress the steaks after the meat has rested.

Grill the steaks until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side (depending on thickness of steaks). Transfer the steaks to plates. Spoon the remaining sauce over and serve.

Grilled Fennel Crushed Chicken with a Basil Pesto:

  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 1/4 cup
  • 4 tablespoons fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 chicken breasts 
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

Whisk 1/3 cup of oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, fennel seeds, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day, turning the chicken occasionally. (Adding the fennel seeds at this point is up to you, sometimes if I want a crunchy “breading” for the chicken, I wait and add them after the designated marinade time frame, yet both options are delicious.)

Meanwhile, add the basil, garlic, lemon zest, remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a blender until smooth. Gradually blend in the remaining 1/3 cup oil. I know, I know, this is not a traditional pesto sauce. Spare me internet warriors. Season the basil “pesto” as needed. 


Prepare your grill for medium-high heat. Remove chicken from the marinade. Discard the remaining marinade. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, about 8 minutes per side depending on what size and type of chicken you used.

Transfer the chicken to serving plates, drizzle with the basil sauce and serve. BOOM. SALT BAE. 

Enjoy being a super awesome grill master. Remember, if you deem yourself as “not a good cook”, you what I always say…