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In the summer heat, nothing beats a meal from the grill. But by August things need a bit of freshening up, as standbys become boring. Too often, like the grill itself, we start off strong and then flame out by just resorting to our usual repertoire.

One of my favorite ways to inject freshness into grilling is to incorporate unexpected ingredients that liven up the meal. I find that adding grilled fruit to a simple main course transforms it into something truly extraordinary. In the next couple of weeks, I'll explore a few easy ways to transform the usual into anything but.

Here, ho-hum grilled salmon becomes new again with this maple-mustard-ginger glaze and a topping of grilled fresh pineapple.

The maple syrup in this dish coats the fish, giving it a shiny glaze. Make sure the grill is clean before grilling the fruit.

TONIGHT'S SOLUTION: Grilled Maple Salmon With Pineapple

TO MAKE THE MEAL: Serve with green beans and herbed orzo.


Grilled Maple Salmon With Pineapple

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

4 (1/2-inch) slices fresh pineapple

4 (4- to 6-ounce) salmon fillets

- Preheat a lightly oiled grill to medium-hot.

- In a bowl, combine maple syrup, mustard and ginger. Generously brush the mixture on pineapple slices, and then salmon.

- Place salmon on the grill and brush again with marinade. Grill pineapple for 2 to 4 minutes per side. Grill salmon for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until just cooked through. Serve salmon topped with pineapple slice.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 191 calories (20 percent from fat), 23g protein, 15g carbohydrates, trace fiber, 4g fat (1g saturated), 59mg cholesterol, 125mg sodium.

If you have a great-tasting main dish recipe that uses no more than five ingredients and can be made in 30 minutes or less, tell us. (Salt, pepper, water and oil for greasing a pan don't need to be included in the ingredient count.) Send recipes to 5:30 Challenge, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Eighth Floor, 72 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30303; or e-mail