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Have a ball with this new take on preparing salmon

Here's a novel way to cook salmon that, although orbmaking is involved, does not involve the word "croquette." Mixed with scallions, herbs, panko and a judicious amount of mustard and mayonnaise, the salmon stays moist even after an intense session on the grill.

If you have a meatball grill basket, the heated portion of this recipe will be easier. But not to worry; a metal vegetable basket for the grill (with holes or perforations) or even an aluminum grill screen will work fine.

Serve with wedges of crisp iceberg lettuce and halved cherry tomatoes, or stuffed inside pita pockets with your favorite greens. Adapted from "I Love Meatballs!" by Rick Rodgers (Andrews McMeel, 2011).

> Grilled Salmon Meatballs With Green Goddess Sauce

2 scallions

1/2 lemon

Leaves from 4 stems flat-leaf parsley

Leaves from 1 or 2 stems tarragon

1 pound skinless salmon fillets, preferably American wild-caught

3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise (do not use nonfat)

2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste

Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Meanwhile, trim off and discard the root ends and dark-green parts of the scallions, then finely chop the remaining scallions to yield 1/4 cup. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into a measuring cup to yield 1 tablespoon. Finely chop the parsley and tarragon (together is OK) to yield 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons; those can go into a cup with the lemon juice.

Cut the salmon into chunks and place in food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add half of the scallions, plus the panko, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, the mustard, salt and pepper; pulse to incorporate. Refrigerate (in the covered food processor bowl, minus the blade) for 15 minutes.

While the meatball mixture is chilling, make the sauce: Whisk together the lemon juice and anchovy paste in a medium bowl until the anchovy paste has dissolved, then whisk in the remaining 1 cup of mayonnaise, the remaining scallion, and the parsley and tarragon (if the herbs were not already combined with the lemon juice). Season with pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to grill, use nonstick cooking oil spray to grease the inside of the meatball grill basket or vegetable basket for the grill, or an aluminum screen made for grilling.

Use clean, dampened hands to form 12 meatballs of equal size, placing them in the basket or on the screen as you work. Place the basket or grill screen on the grill grate; close the grill lid and cook for 3 minutes, so the undersides of the salmon meatballs brown lightly in spots. Then turn over the meatball basket or use 2 forks to turn over the meatballs in the vegetable basket or on the grill screen. Cook for 3 minutes; the salmon will be opaque and just cooked through. Transfer to a platter.

Serve with the sauce on the side. Serves 4.

Per serving (using all of the sauce): 420 calories, 25g protein, 15g carbohydrates, 30g fat, 5g saturated fat, 85mg cholesterol, 1,070mg sodium, no dietary fiber, 3g sugar