I don't always come home exhausted and not willing to cook. Typically, cooking is what makes me happy and relaxes me after a long day. But there's a difference in having a long day and being down right exhausted. For the last couple of years, grad school has been my "after work activity" one or two days a week. Funny enough, I discovered my love for cooking about the same time I started grad school, and unfortunately, there wasn't always time to come home and cook a big elaborate meal when getting home at 9 pm on some nights. I was grateful to have a husband who would cook dinner or order takeout for us while I was in class and have it plated up and ready by the time I got home, but some nights, I just wanted to cook. It just helped me wind down. It did then, and it does now. On these nights I had to come up with something quick and easy to cook. I'm happy to say I have graduated with an MA in Journalism (yay), but that's not to say there still won't be nights I'll need a go-to, no-fuss meal. This is one of those meals... a meal that most people in the world will appreciate. 8 ingredients, 10 minutes... done!!! Thank you grad school for challenging me in this way!
1/2 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
Good quality olive oil - 1 tbsp for each filet, plus some for the pan
4 fresh salmon filets - skin off
4 tomatoes - firm to the touch
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a small saucepan, bring 1/4 cup of the balsamic and a pinch of salt to a boil and let simmer. Heat a saute pan with a splash of olive oil to the highest heat (like you're going to boil something) until olive oil is smoking. Sprinkle olive oil, salt, and pepper on each side of the salmon - about 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1/4 tsp of pepper.
2. When oil is smoking on the pan, place salmon on the pan face down and don't touch or move for 2 full minutes (not touching it creates an amazing crust... the kind you see on your salmon in restaurants). Flip salmon and let cook for 1 minute on the other side then put the salmon (pan and all) in the 400 degree oven for 3-4 minutes.
3. While salmon is cooking, cube the tomatoes and avocado, throw into a large bowl, and add the rest of the balsamic, 1 tsp of salt (or to taste), pepper, and stir together.
4. When the salmon is done, take out and set aside. To plate, put a serving of the tomato and avocado salad on a plate and top with the salmon. Spoon balsamic glaze over the fish and the salad.
CHEERS TO HAPPY EATING!!!