This is a special seasonal menu highlighting farm and sea to table recipes. Seafood can seem intimidating but it is surprisingly not fussy and especially easy to prepare on the grill. With summer coming to an end, this is your chance to treat yourself to a fresh plate full of seafood.
Clams are in season right now and scallops are just about there. Arugula and pears are in abundance and all colors of cherry tomatoes are popping.
While vacationing in New England I stayed with a chef friend. We picked these ingredients from his garden and a local farm and fish market. Grilling clams was new to me, yet so simple. I had to share this menu with you. After a long season dedicated to training and racing, you deserve this feast!
Pear & Arugula Salad
4 cups arugula
1 pear (any type), diced
1/4 cup red onion, sliced paper thin
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1. In a large bowl toss the arugula with the olive oil, vinegar and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
2. Add the pear and onion and toss gently.
3. Using a vegetable peeler, shave fresh Parmesan over the top.
Grilled clams, scallops, and fish with herb sauce and tomato salad
2 pounds little neck clams
1 pound sea scallops
1 pound fresh fish, skin removed (salmon was used in this recipe)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup basil
2 tbsp tarragon
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp shallot, finely minced
1/2 tsp agave
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1. In a food processor, combine the parsley, basil, tarragon, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, 1 teaspoon of the shallots, agave, salt, and pepper. Process into a smooth consistency.
2. In a small bowl combine the other teaspoon of shallots and the tomatoes with one tablespoon of the herb sauce and reserve.
3. Fill a large bowl half full of water and ice. Soak the clams in the ice water for 5 minutes. This is a great trick to pull the sand off the clams to the bottom of the bowl. Remove the clams and scrub them lightly in the sink.
4. Pad the scallops and the fish dry with a paper towel. Toss each with a tablespoon of the herb sauce.
5. Heat the grill to medium high and brush it with olive oil. Place the clams directly on the grates. They will take approximately 8-10 minutes to open with the cover closed.
6. Grill the fish approximately 4-5 minutes per side, until just underdone in the center. The fish will finish cooking once removed and this prevents it from drying out.
7. Grill the scallops 2 minutes per side.
8. Serve the fish and scallops with the herb sauce and the tomato salad over the top with the clams and the salad on the side. A simple steamed brown rice or quinoa is also a nice side for this dish.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif. She is also a professional Xterra triathlete and mountain biker. Follow Jess’ recipes on her “Fit Food by Jess” Facebook page.