Grilled salmon to celebrate the Fourth

Salmon is traditionally served on Fourth of July in New England, boiled with egg sauce, with new peas, and the very first new potatoes.

It once was plentiful along the eastern seaboard but now the catch is depleted because of overfishing years ago.

Most of our salmon today comes from the Columbia River, Puget Sound, and Alaska.

James Beard, in his cookbooks, tells of the wonderful West Coast salmon from Oregon, his native state.

Beard describes from memory the days when Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia was the center of the salmon industry, a city on piers, with canneries and nets and fishing boats strung along the waterfront as far as the eye could see.

Although West Coast salmon is not as plentiful as it once was I enjoyed it twice on a recent visit to Portland, Oregon and brought back some recipes. Here is one of them. Northwest Salmon Barbecue 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons minced parsley 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt 1/8 teaspoon each pepper and bottled hot pepper sauce 1 2 to 3 pound salmon fillet, thawed, if necessary Combine all ingredients except salmon. Cut heavy-duty aluminum foil at least 2 inches longer than salmon; perforate with a table fork every 2 inches.

Grease foil and place salmon, skin side down, on foil and brush with butter mixture. Form a tent with another piece of heavy-duty foil over salmon and seal edges.

Barbecue over hot coals 8 minutes. Uncover salmon and baste with butter mixture Re-cover with foil and barbecue 7 minutes longer, until salmon flakes easily with a fork.

Total time of cooking should be 10 minutes per inch of thickness measured at its thickest part. Baste with remaining butter mixture. Makes about 8 servings.

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