As a Girl Scout, the Saturday night “foil” dinner was always a highlight.

We’d put ground beef, potatoes, carrots and maybe some peas on a sheet of aluminum foil, seal it up, then throw the packet on the campfire. Twenty or so minutes later, we’d unwrap the charred tinfoil and eat.


Hardly. The peas were gray and overcooked; the ground beef still cold and raw in places; the potatoes hard as … well … raw potatoes. At 12 years old, it seemed the essence of “roughing it.”

I thought about those camping trips last night while making dinner. Because it was First-Day-Of-School Eve, I wanted something fast and minimally messy (no pans or grill grates to scour, please). A “foil dinner” seemed the perfect solution.

Having learned from those long-ago Girl Scout outings, I chose dinner items with comparable cooking times (fish; asparagus; corn). I also wrapped everything separately, so I could turn the corn ears but let the asparagus gurgle untouched in its lemon and olive oil.

Ten minutes later, dinner was unwrapped and served.

It made this former Girl Scout proud.

foil on grill

Foil Dinner For Four

  • 1 1/2-pound salmon filet
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 4 ears of corn

Cut six sheets of aluminum foil.

foilOn a baking sheet, douse the corn with olive oil, salt, pepper and any herbs you have on hand. Place each ear on a sheet of foil and wrap tightly. Set aside.

Place the asparagus on a sheet of foil and coat liberally with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Seal tightly.

Place the salmon on the final sheet of foil and coat with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your choice of fresh herbs and seasonings. (I used scallions and sumac.)

Heat your grill to high. Place the packets on the grates so each one has plenty of room around it. Cover the grill and let the food cook for 10 minutes, occasionally turning the corn.

Remove the asparagus packet, unwrap it, and place the spears on a big platter.

Remove the salmon from its foil and place the fish atop the asparagus spears.

Carefully unwrap each corn ear and place on the platter.

foil meal

Voila! Dinner is served, and clean up is as easy as throwing the foil away!