Seafood and San Diego go hand in hand. It’s impossible to live miles from the coast without stumbling upon a fish shop stacked to the gills with scallops, shrimp, crab legs and all manner of filets. Are we spoiled? Well … yes, but you already knew that since we’re lucky enough to live in San Diego!
This seafood rice salad, or frutti di mare rice salad, comes from my favorite food writer, David Tanis. When David writes about food, he’s not writing just about ingredients. His writing is aspiration, and he takes the reader into his mind’s eye, where we’re invited to partake at the table (even if we’re at our own kitchen table). His essay from the New York Times on this Mediterranean seafood dish includes an insight into his summertime dream filled with the sea, fresh fish and the flavors of summer.
What I love about this dish, which I’ve made several times, is how it’s both creamy and light at the same time. By boiling the risotto rice as one would pasta, the dish is not only easy but fast enough to make on a weeknight. Of course, you can always serve it up as a dish worthy of company. Even the lemony dressing is divine, and can work on your everyday salads or as a chicken marinade when you’re tired of the same old thing.
I use a variety of seafood, basing my decisions on whatever is fresh at the local market; which, for me, is Pelly’s in Carlsbad. If you’re lucky enough to have a lemon tree and a basil plant, you may not even need to stop by the supermarket. And for those of us who could live on paella or risotto alone, there’s always a bag of rice in the pantry, right? So head over to your local fish market and see what the fishmonger (don’t you love that word?!) has in store for your seafood rice salad. Weeknight or weekend, this is the perfect blend of comfort food and local flavor.