Corn adds sunny side to dinner omelet with salmon

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Open-faced Corn and Zucchini Omelet With Smoked Salmon and Lemon Cream
Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Open-faced Corn and Zucchini Omelet With Smoked Salmon and Lemon Cream

For the first couple weeks of corn season, my family is content to eat plain old corn on the cob day after day.

But even perfection gets boring after a while, which is why I tend to fancy up our corncentric preparations as we get deeper into the season. So here’s a large, family-style, open-faced dinner omelet.

Before diving into the recipe, make sure you’re cooking with the best corn. If possible, buy it from a farm stand or farmers market in the morning. Presumably, the farmer will have picked it earlier that very day, which allows you to take it home, store it in the fridge and cook it that evening. The idea is to slow down the relentless conversion of the corn’s sugar to starch, which begins the minute it’s picked and accelerates if the corn is then left in a warm place.

How will you know if an ear is fully ripened? By figuring out if it’s covered with kernels from stem to stern, which you can ascertain by feeling it from the outside. If it feels skinny at the top, put it back in the bin.

Now it’s time to cut the corn off the cob. I peel off the husk, leaving on the stem, then stand it on a large piece of kitchen parchment and cut straight down the sides. Some people prefer to lay the ear on its side before cutting, but my method allows me to see what I’m doing more clearly and allows for better control.

Summer also happens to be high season for zucchini, which likely have already overrun the garden and now are threatening to crawl into the house. This recipe will put a dent in them, too. You’re going to grate and salt them to rid them of excess water and concentrate their flavor. Then you’ll add them to your omelet, along with caramelized onion, to make the finished product moist but not watery.

What turns this omelet into a dish fit for dinner? Smoked salmon and a lemon cream made with Greek yogurt, which is high-protein and low-fat (and wonderfully creamy). Of course, the eggs are an additional source of protein. This dish is surprisingly substantial. Add a nice green salad on the side and you’ll be rolling.

Sara Moulton was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years, and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows. She stars in public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and has written three cookbooks, including “Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.”

Open-Faced Corn and Zucchini Omelet With Smoked Salmon and Lemon Cream

Serves 4. Recipe is by Sara Moulton.

1 lb. zucchini, coarsely shredded

11/2 tsps. kosher salt, divided

2 tbls. vegetable or canola oil

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

2 cups fresh corn kernels

8 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

1 tsp. lemon juice

Ground black pepper

4 ozs. smoked salmon, cut into thin strips

Chopped fresh dill, to garnish

1. Heat the oven to 350 F.

2. In a colander, toss the zucchini with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and let the mixture stand over the sink for 10 minutes.

3. In a large, oven-safe, nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

4. Using your hands, squeeze small handfuls of the zucchini to discard as much water as possible. Add the squeezed zucchini to the skillet with the onion. Return the skillet to medium heat and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

5. Stir in the corn, eggs and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Cook, lifting up the edges of the omelet to let the uncooked egg mixture flow underneath, until the omelet is mostly set. Transfer the omelet to the oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until the top is just set.

6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the yogurt, lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, cut the omelet into wedges and top each portion with a quarter of the salmon and lemon cream, as well as a sprinkling of dill.

Nutrition information per serving: 350 calories (150 calories from fat = 43 percent of total calories); 17 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 365 milligrams cholesterol; 26 grams carbohydrate (4 grams fiber; 10 grams sugar); 24 grams protein; 870 milligrams sodium.