Cedar Plank Salmon with Corn Relish and Caprese Pasta with Fresh Pesto Sauce

We ate well last night. Wild Alaskan salmon. Summer corn and tomatoes. Fresh pesto made with basil from my garden…. Since you’re probably already drooling I won’t bore you with any further introduction and go straight to the pictures and recipes.

Cedar Plank Salmon, Corn Relish, Caprese Pasta with Fresh Pesto

Cedar Plank Salmon Rub
Makes a lot – store in an airtight container in your pantry and use as needed.  Keeps forever. Salmon could be broiled instead of grilled.

  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika

Cedar Plank Salmon Rub (one piece left plain for the picky child)

Corn Relish
Delicious with salmon or flank steak

  • kernels cut from 2 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 Tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp chopped oregano (can use basil or cilantro instead)

Cook corn kernels in microwave for 1 minute.  Set aside. Cut up tomato & onion. Add to corn. Add olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season liberally with salt & pepper. Chop herbs and add to corn.  Mix well. Let sit at room temperature until ready to serve

Corn Relish

Caprese Pasta with Fresh Pesto Sauce
Serves 6-8 as a side dish or 4 as a main course

  • 1 13.25-oz. box medium shells pasta
  • ¾ cup packed basil
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into large dice

Make fresh pesto: place basil, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil in a food processor and mix until it becomes a thick paste. Set aside.

Prepare tomatoes and place in the bottom of your serving bowl.  Season liberally with salt. Set aside. Prepare mozzarella and place in separate bowl; set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving some of the pasta cooking water. Pour hot pasta directly over the tomatoes. Add pesto. Stir to combine. Add about ¼ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water to the pasta-pesto bowl and stir to incorporate. Add the mozzarella and stir gently. Serve immediately or let sit and serve at room temperature.

Notes: For this dish I left the customary Parmesan out of the pesto sauce because I was combining it with fresh mozzarella. To make a more traditional pesto, add 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan to the food processor before blending.

Caprese pasta with fresh pesto sauce

Enjoy!

— Suzanne

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