From Champe Speidel, Persimmon Restaurant, Bristol
1 lemon, rind peeled and reserved
½ cup kosher salt
1 gallon cold water
2 fresh bay leaves
10 sprigs fresh thyme
4 (8 ounce) cod filets or any local firm white fish, skinned extra virgin olive oil
2 cups mixed cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 purple onion, thinly sliced
4 ears of fresh corn, shucked, grilled or boiled, removed from cob
1 cup arugula leaves, washed and dried
¼ cup mixed basil leaves, washed and dried
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, washed and dried
1 Tbsp each minced chives, Italian, flat-leaf parsley, fresh oregano
1 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic + 1 tsp sugar)
3 Tbsp hot water
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a large bowl. Add the lemon rind, kosher salt, water, bay leaves, and two sprigs of the thyme. Stir until the salt dissolves. Add the cod filets to the lemon and herb mixture and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the haddock from the brine and rinse with cold water. Pat the filets dry and lay them in a lightly oiled baking dish, at least two inches apart. Season lightly with salt, and place a few drops of fresh lemon juice and two sprigs of fresh thyme on each filet. Place in the oven, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes or until fish is tender, flaky and moist. Baste the filets with any juices remaining in the baking dish, and allow to sit while plating the salad.
Immediately before plating the fish, combine the vegetables, herbs, vinegar and water in a large bowl until fully incorporated. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Warm four large plates in the oven. Place a mound of salad in the center of every plate and top each with a cod filet. Serve immediately. Serves 4.