J says he dislikes May in California, because it seems so dreary compared to back East, where May is gloriously welcomed with sunshine, al fresco dining, skirts and open-toed shoes, and lighter fare. We have had some beautiful days along the coast, though, so I think I may beg to differ.
Perhaps it is the tantalizing nearness of summer that led me to make a refreshing zucchini salad for dinner the other day. Topped with smoky seafood spiced with paprika and garlic, it was a collision of the bright and bold flavors of summer.
Corn and Zucchini Salad with Smoked Paprika Seafood (serves 2)
- 2 ears of corn, husked
- Kosher salt
- 2 small zucchini (about 3/4 pound), thinly sliced lengthwise on a mandoline
- 2 tbl coarsely chopped fresh basil
- 2 tbl coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2.5 tbl olive oil
- 2 tbl Meyer lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup seafood blend from Trader Joe’s, defrosted and patted dry
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 tbl olive oil
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Cook corn in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright yellow and tender, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate and let cool.
- Cut kernels from cobs and place in a large bowl.
- Add zucchini, basil, parsley, 2.5 tbl oil, lemon juice and red pepper flakes and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper. Let sit for at least 10 minutes to marinate. Divide between two plates and set aside.
- In a small skillet heat remaining 1/2 tbl olive oil over medium heat.
- Add garlic cloves and cook until just fragrant. Add paprika and stir to combine.
- Increase to medium-high heat, stir in seafood and cook just until opaque and slightly caramelized at the edges. Do not overcook.
- Top zucchini salad with seafood and serve immediately.