For the health-conscious, barbecues can be the ultimate test of will power, what with fatty burgers, high-caloric potato salads and sugary beverages in full supply.
But this Fourth of July, you can avoid temptation and celebrate with these healthy, flavorful options that are crafted by NYC chefs.
Bagatelle’s salmon burger
“The salmon patty is nice and light with a lower fat content than a traditional beef burger,” says Executive Chef Sébastien Chamaret. Makes 1 patty.
4 oz. salmon, diced
1/4 scallion, chopped
Pinch of cumin
2 tsp. Jean Reno Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Form patty.
3. Pan-sear patty for 30 seconds on each side to keep them medium rare. Serve on a low-carb roll.
Chef tip: The patties are ready to be served immediately after cooking but can also be made a day in advance.
STK’s grilled asparagus with lime, chili and salt
“[This] is a healthier dressing option because it’s extra virgin olive oil ... unlike traditional accompaniments which are typically butter or hollandaise sauce,” says Executive Chef Liran Mezan. Serves: 10-12.
2 tbsp. dried lime zest
2 tbsp. chili, or anchovy powder
2 tbsp. kosher, flake or coarse sea salt
Olive oil (as needed)
Pepper to taste
2-3 bunches of asparagus (1 1/2 to 2 lbs.)
1. Shave limes and place on a baking sheet in a very low oven or air dry.
2. Mix lime zest, chili and salt.
3. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil until evenly coated.
4. Sprinkle asparagus with lime, chili and salt mixture and pepper to taste.
5. Grill for 5 minutes, turning stalks one-quarter every minute.
Casa Nonna’s Prosecco Granita
“Typically people will serve a strawberry shortcake or cookies after a barbecue, but who needs it after a big meal?” says Executive Chef Julio Genao. “This is nice and light, but still satisfies that inevitable post-BBQ sweet tooth. It’s also really hydrating, which you may need if you’ve kicked back some beers.” Serves: 8-10.
24 oz. water
1/2 cup monk fruit extract
5 oz. agave
Half a lemon for lemon zest
12 oz. Prosecco
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup grapefruit juice
10 oz. watermelon, chopped
10 oz. cantaloupe, chopped
2 1/2 oz. basil leaves, chopped
1. Bring water, monk fruit extract, agave and lemon zest to a boil. Let cool.
2. Add Prosecco, lemon juice and grapefruit juice.
3. Pour mixture into metal pan and freeze for 1 hour.
4. Use a fork to scrape down ice from sides and stir into the semi-frozen mixture.
5. Repeat 1 hour freeze/stir until completely frozen (may take up to six hours).
6. For each serving, place a 12-oz. glass in the freezer to chill for 1 hour.
7. Add 1 tbsp. chopped cantaloupe, 1 tbsp. chopped watermelon and 1/4 oz. chopped basil to chilled glass.
8. Scrape and add a couple tablespoons of granita on top of fruit.
9. Alternate adding fruit and granita until you end up with a layer of granita on top.
10. Garnish with a basil leaf.
Chef’s tip: In some Italian cities, granitas are used as palate cleansers.
Golden Bear Punch
“Using fresh juices is a great way to stay calorie conscious while drinking,” says The Nomad bartender Lacy Hawkins. “Fresh juices are full of vitamins and won’t have all of the sugars and preservatives that other mixers might have. And garnishing punches with things like cucumber wheels and fresh berries make for tasty summertime snacks every time you refill your glass.” Serves: 12.
12 cucumber slices
18 oz. Hangar 1 Straight Vodka
12 oz. Cocchi Barolo Chinato
6 oz. verjus
6 oz. lime juice
6 oz. honey syrup (2 parts honey, 1 part water)
12 oz. sparkling wine
1. Whip-shake all ingredients, except the sparkling wine.
2. Fine-strain over a big ice cube in a punch bowl.
3. Top off with sparkling wine and additional cucumber wheels.
4. Serve in punch cups, garnished with extra cucumber slices.