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Dinner Recipe

Pan-seared Rockfish with Tomato Corn Salad, and Lemony Arugula

Spencer Huey

Pan-seared Rockfish with Tomato Corn Salad, and Lemony Arugula

Spencer Huey

Serves 4 people


3 ears of sweet corn
1 pint of tomatoes (any cherry tomato will work)
2 lemons
basil, a few springs
olive oil
1.5lbs rockfish fillets (usually 5-6 oz per person; any firm white fish will do)
4 -oz (half a bag) of arugula


Make the raw corn and tomato salad. Shuck the ears of corn and use a sharp knife to remove the kernels. I like to lay down the ear flat on the board and cut from the top to the bottom with one slice. Rotate the corn and continue. Once the corn has been cut, stand it on its end and scrape the “corn milk” with the back of your knife. It has lots of sweetness and flavor. This is a raw corn salad so use corn only in the peak of summer.
Cut the tomatoes in half and mix with corn in a bowl. Season with torn basil leaves, salt, lemon juice (start with half), and olive oil.
Cook the rockfish. Heat a large cast iron pan on high heat with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season both sides of the fish with salt. When you see wisps of smoke, lay the fish in the pan away from you (so it doesn’t splash on you). Cook the fish about 2/3 of the way on the first side. Depending on the thickness, it can take between 3-5 min. Flip once and cook until the fish turns opaque and just starts to flake about 2-4 min. Generally for rockfish, total cook time is about 5 min.
Dress the arugula. While the fish is cooking, put the arugula in the bowl. Season with lemon juice, olive oil and salt and toss with your hands.
To serve, plate some of the corn salad and use a spatula to lay the rockfish on top. Place some of the arugula on the side and serve with a few lemon wedges.

This is a great summer meal! The peppery arugula balances the sweet tomato and corn salad and goes great with the fish. Feel free to use other white fish like cod, halibut, lingcod, or snapper.
Check out Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch App to purchase sustainable salmon and other seafood. It can get tricky knowing what is sustainable and not. It depends on the species, how it was caught, and where it was caught. The app makes it very easy to be an informed consumer.

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