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Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Spanish Scallop Salad

Every year for my lovely sister-in-law's birthday I cook a feast for her and her family at their home on Long Beach Island. This summer I decided to make it a themed buffet of Spanish tapas! It gave me the opportunity to use authentic Spanish ingredients I bought at Despaña in Soho, as well as local island seafood, and produce from my garden. (I made about 12 different tapas for the party and plan to feature all of them in the coming months here on the blog. It was a huge success and we have already agreed on a middle eastern buffet for next summer.) I had planned to do some kind of marinated seafood salad, originally thinking of using Calamari, but when I got to our favorite local fish market and the sign said: "local scallops" I could not resist. Enjoy, and know you can use any kind of seafood you want for this dish.

1 1/2 lbs scallops, calamari(rinse, dry and cut into rings), or shrimp (peeled and deveined)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon aged sherry vinegar
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small red onion, cut in half, then into very thin slices
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 ribs of celery, finely sliced
1 cup loose packed flat leaf parsley, leaves only
1/4 cup cilantro leaves (optional)

Clean the scallops and cut them in half if large and dry them (you cannot sauté them if they are wet). Sauté scallops in a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until the surface shows some small cracks, then remove from pan. If using shrimp or calamari, lightly poach them in some water, white wine, lemon juice, and herbs of your choice and then quickly cool them.

Whisk together the lime, vinegar, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir in onions and let sit 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the cooled seafood, olives, tomato, celery and parsley. Toss with dressing and refrigerate 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to combine. If you want extra heat, add some Aleppo pepper to the mix.

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