Wild-caught California salmon is one of the culinary highlights of summer in the Golden State. A fresh corn salad with a Mexican accent is the perfect complement and would be just as compatible with halibut fillets, scallops, or shrimp.
- 2 large poblano or Anaheim chilies
- 2 ears yellow corn, husked
- 1 cup (40 g) very coarsely chopped cilantro
- ½ small red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 3 limes, or more to taste
- 1 large avocado, ripe but firm, diced
- 3 ounces (2/3 cup/85 g) coarsely crumbled queso fresco
- Kosher or sea salt
- 1 serrano chili, finely minced (optional)
- 4 six-ounce (175 g) skin-on salmon fillets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Lime wedges for serving
Make the salad: Preheat the broiler. Put the poblano or Anaheim chilies on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil until blackened on all sides. Let cool, then peel, remove stems and seeds, and dice. Turn the oven to 425°F (220°C).
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Add the corn to the boiling water and boil 30 seconds, then remove the ears with tongs and plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain when cool and pat dry. With a chef’s knife, cut away the kernels. You should have about 2-1/2 cups (350 g).
In a large bowl, combine the diced poblano or Anaheim chilies, corn, cilantro, red onion, olive oil, and juice of 3 limes. Add the avocado and queso fresco and toss gently.
Season well with salt and add more lime juice if desired. If the salad is not spicy enough for you, stir in some or all of the minced serrano chili.
Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a cast-iron skillet and put the skillet in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Season the salmon with salt. Place the fillets in the skillet, skin side down, and bake until they just flake when probed with a paring knife, about 10 minutes.
Serve salmon immediately with the salad on the side.