I have been noticeably absent from the French Fridays with Dorie group, to my dismay, but what a great week for re-entry. This week’s recipe of a Warm Scallop Salad with Corn, Nectarines, and Basil is vibrant in flavor and color and an idyllic selection for warm summer evenings. As you know, we can’t share the recipe in this post, but if you have a bit of confidence in the kitchen and still haven’t purchased Around My French Table, you might be able to give this a try just from my description.
Dorie explains in her book, that this isn’t a French recipe, but rather one she serves in Connecticut when summer produce is at its peak. When she served it at her Paris apartment, they thought it exotic indeed but not for the nectarines, but rather the corn! Apparently fresh corn on the cob is not a staple at all. In fact, my friend Mardi from the blog eatlivetravelwrite just prepared this while in the south of France where they have fantastic markets and produce and still had to use canned corn!
Here are the elements of this composed salad:
- Scallops (we used shrimp and scallops)
- Corn (fresh is best but frozen or canned will work – I mixed)
- Tomatoes – cherry or large ones cut up (I used heirloom)
- Basil to prepare the basil coulis (a pureé of fresh basil and olive oil) and extra leaves to toss on at the end
- Fresh limes and olive oil for the lime-based dressing with a bit of spice
Don’t let the word composed scare you. If you read through some of the other write-ups, you’ll see that you can create shortcuts to the plating and composition and Dorie explains that both the basil coulis and dressing can be made ahead, a huge time saver when you are trying to get it on the table at the end of a hectic day.
I prepared the coulis and dressing in the afternoon. Then before I left for soccer pick-up, I chopped my heirloom tomatoes and prepped the corn that I had leftover from the day before. I headed to the market on the way to soccer to purchase the scallops and shrimp and a can of corn to supplement the fresh as well as the nectarines. Knowing I would arrive home late with at least one starving child, I knew cooking and de-cobbing more corn was not realistic.
@Dormantchef worked his magic on the grill with the nectarines and scallops and shrimp – all of it cooked up in under five minutes. My only disappointment with this dish was my plating. The picture I had in my head and the end result did not align. I should have started with a larger plate and separated the corn from the shrimp and scallops in the center. However, from a taste standpoint – well – @dormantchef said it might be his new favorite meal and the kids gobbled it up. The succulence of the scallops and shrimp with a bit of the tangy lime dressing and fragrant basil coulis is simply complex and elegant. And the beefy heirloom tomatoes also accented with basil combined with the crispy corn and slightly warm fleshy nectarine wowed us all.
My friend Carol Sacks of InMediasRecipe recently posted about stone fruits and showed us how to use them as part of a main course salad. Now I can really understand how perfectly stone fruits play as part of dinner. Stone fruit is not just for dessert anymore!
As always, I learned much from Dorie’s recipe and playing along with this wonderful group. To read more renditions of this recipe, check out the French Fridays with Dorie web site and buy Dorie Greenspan’s award-winning cookbook Around My French Table. You will cherish the purchase and learn from each recipe and story that she shares.
P.S. If you haven’t already entered my giveaway for a signed copy of Mollie Katzen’s cookbook called get cooking, head over and enter. It’s a great book for a novice cook or anyone looking for simple ideas heading into the super busy school season.