Smoky Seafood Pasta Salad
Recipe courtesy of Chef Greg Basalla
Ladolemono (Yield 4 cups):
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 cups blended or canola oil
Smoked Piquillo Vinaigrette (Yield 2 cups):
- 8 ea piquillo peppers, lightly charred on a wood grill
- ½ tsp cumin, toasted, ground
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp minced shallot
- ¾ cup blended or canola oil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- To taste salt
Smoky Seafood Pasta Salad:
- 12 oz Barilla Rotini pasta, cooked al dente
- 3 oz smoked piquillo vinaigrette
- 8 ea 16/20 red shrimp, charred on a wood grill
- 8 ea bay scallops, charred on a wood grill
- 6 oz octopus, poached, then charred on a wood grill, cut into 1-in pieces
- ½ ea ear of corn, charred on a wood grill, cut from the cob
- 4 ea white asparagus spears, charred on a wood grill, cut into 1-in pieces
- 2 oz mixed seasonal greens, washed and rinsed
- ¼ oz watercress, washed and rinsed
- 2 ea large basil leaves, torn
- 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
- 2 tsp dill, chopped
- 2 tsp chives, thinly shaved
- 1 Tbsp red pearl onion, thinly sliced
- 10 ea grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 ea Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
- 8 ea Cerignola olives, pitted, quartered
- 2 oz Ladolemono
- To taste Maldon sea salt
- 1 ea lemon, halved, then charred on a wood grill
- For the ladolemono: place the lemon juice, honey, and mustard in a blender and blend on high. Slowly add the oils to create the emulsification. Label and store up to 5 days refrigerated.
- For the smoked piquillo vinaigrette: place all the ingredients in a blender and puree. Slowly add both oils until fully emulsified. Finish with just a touch of salt to taste. Label and store up to 5 days refrigerated.
- For the Smoky Seafood Pasta Salad: in a large mixing bowl, place the cooked rotini pasta, and toss with 2 oz of the smoked piquillo vinaigrette, then set aside.
- In another smaller bowl, combine the grilled seafood, asparagus, and corn and toss with remaining 1 oz of the smoked piquillo vinaigrette.
- In the bowl with the pasta, add the greens, cress, herbs, pearl onion, tomatoes, and cucumbers, and toss gently, then transfer to a large serving dish or plate.
- Attractively arrange the grilled seafood and vegetables on top of the pasta and greens.
- Garnish with the olives, some torn whole herbs, a drizzle of ladolemono, the lemon, and Maldon sea salt.
After spending quite a few years in Greek and Mediterranean kitchens, ladolemono has become my work horse in the kitchen. I use it on everything. It’s great on its own as a simple vinaigrette for a salad, but I believe it shows its true value used when cooking proteins. I keep mine in a squeeze bottle and squirt it on grilling/searing meats and seafood to add a great glaze, some nice caramelization, and a nice balance of sweet and acid.
The smoky piquillo vinaigrette is a great recipe. I sometimes cut it with yogurt and use it as more of a sauce or swipe on a plate. It goes great with all types of foods and proteins. I particularly like it with seafood and pork.