Last week at this time I was happily anticipating the beginning of the school year. I thought I would be thrilled to have Max back in the classroom, a regular bedtime re-instated and a re-newed sense of structure to my days.
But now, it’s only two days in and I miss those very carefree days of summer I thought I was ready to leave behind. I miss the swimming, and family walks and reading on the deck and the cocktails at the beach.
Perhaps it is because I let a slew of projects, deadlines, and chores slide during the last few months. Funny thing is that everything I pushed aside is now patiently waiting yet persistently vying for my attention. Truthfully, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have so much to do around the house and in the garden that I am literally walking around in a dazed circle, unsure as to where to start. And the paperwork and business stuff that has accumulated? I can’t even talk about it.
My days are once again jam packed and I’m running from appointment to appointment, trying to restore some semblance of order around the house and am diving head first into the disaster that is my office. By Christmas I should have the whole thing sorted…
So for tonight I am going to fall back on a recipe that features some of the summer vegetables that are still thankfully in abundance. Sweet farmer’s market corn, ripe tomatoes and fresh basil, rounded out with some salmon (brain food for the upcoming school week) and some red onion, avocado and a few handfuls of arugula. The best part is that it takes no time at all to make this, leaving me a bit more time to sort out my messy life and dream about next summer…
Salmon with Summer Corn and Tomato Salad
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1/4 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
Fine grain sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Remove the salmon fillets from the fridge 20 minutes or so before you are planning to cook them.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place a large pot filled with salted water on to boil.
Pat the fillets dry to remove any excess moisture and season well with salt and pepper.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat until very hot. Add the grape seed oil and carefully place the salmon, skin side down in the pan, taking care not to crowd the pan. Allow the fillets to cook for 3 minutes or so with touching or trying to move them. After approximately 3 minutes you should be able to easily flit the fillets over.
Transfer the (oven proof) sauté pan to the preheated oven and cook for approximately 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillets. To check for doneness insert the tip of a knife into the centre of a fillet and count to 8. Remove the knife and place it on the inside of your wrist. If the knife feels cool put the fillets back in the oven for a few more minutes. If the knife comes out warm they are done (to a perfect medium rare) and can be removed from the oven to rest a few minutes before serving. If you prefer your fish to be well done wait until the knife emerges from the fish feeling hot.
Remove fillets from the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the corn in the now boiling, salted water until just tender, approximately 5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool until you can comfortably handle the cobs. Cut the corn kernels from the cobs and transfer to a large bowl. Cut the tomatoes in half and add to the corn kernels. Add the diced avocados, sliced onions, arugula and sliced basil. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine the ingredients.
To make the vinaigrette place the mustard in a medium bowl and whisk in the vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil followed by the grape seed oil whisking constantly to form an emulsified dressing.
Add just enough of the vinaigrette to the salad to coat the ingredients. You will probably need about 3/4 of the vinaigrette, save the rest for a future salad. Check for seasonings. Serve with the seared salmon.