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Santa Barbara Salad

I can’t say I’m California dreamin’  because the weather here in New Jersey has been every bit as spectacularly beautiful this week as anything I encountered on my recent trip to Santa Barbara. But I did have a yen for a cold seafood salad similar to the one I ate there – spicy yet cool at the same time, and packed with not just seafood, but pineapple, papaya and mango too. Here in Princeton, I don’t have the ocean view as surfers prepare to catch the next wave.March 2011 480 I don’t have the hillsides adorned in brightly colored ice plant flowers. March 2011 488 I can’t meditate amid a pebble-guided labyrinth overlooking the ocean: March 2011 485 But I can have my version of that summery, flavorful salad.  And now so can you. April 2011 034 Santa Barbara Seafood Salad printable recipe here Two generous portions

  • four ounces rock shrimp (or any other kind)
  • four ounces bay scallops (or larger scallops, cut into quarters)
  • four ounces squid
  • (or any combination of seafood you like)

In a covered skillet, bring the following to a boil:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • whole black peppers (about 10)
  • 1 T. coriander seeds
  • 1 large slice onion
  • 1 bay leaf

Add the seafood to the boiling water, put the cover back on and let the seafood simmer for only three or four minutes maximum. Drain the water. Pick out the seeds, onion and bay leaf and set the cleaned-off seafood aside in a bowl to cool in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, mix the below ingredients together (except the avocado, which you could add to the fruit if you like, or you could save it to decorate the side of the salad.)

  • 1/2 mango, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/4 cup diced papaya
  • one red chili pepper, minced (or jalapeno)
  • a few sprigs of cilantro, minced
  • 1 stalk of celery, minced
  • 1/2 avocado

For the dressing:

  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. Cajun seasoning
  • salt to taste

Mix the fruit and the seafood in a bowl. Toss with the dressing and place on a lettuce-covered plate. Surround with slices of avocado and garnish with cilantro leaves and a stalk of celery.

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This Post Has 23 Comments
  1. Bellissima la California, mi piacerebbe poterla visitare. molto interessante l'abbinamento pesce – frutta tropicale, perfetta per l'estate. Un abbraccio Daniela.

  2. Oh that ocean view, I just love it, the smell, the sound! Perch me on cliff ( a safe one) with a bottle of wine and your fresh and spicy salad and I would be as happy as a lark!I love the taste of lime dressings, it reminds me of summer!

  3. When MN skips seasons (spring is missing)I try to create it in my kitchen. You have me forgetting about spring – with those fruits and fish – I'll just declare a "kitchen-summer" in my home and start the new seasoon with this dish.

  4. My gosh! All my fave foods in 1 dish! This is brilliant, and I can't wait to try this asap. I might also try quickly grilling the seafood as well as another option. Thank you for sharing such a sublime dish with us, and giving us a taste of Santa Barbara.

  5. Were you given the recipe? Or did you re-create it? This is definitely an honor to my home state of California. Wow! Colorful and delicious. I love Santa Barbara. We're 4 hours away, but I enjoy visiting there whenever we can.

  6. Hi Linda – love the California salad. My mother just moved from Santa Barbara to Las Vegas after decades of living there. It is one beautiful town that I probably won't visit as often any more. But the bright side? I love Vegas too. Your pics are great, really get the feel of SB.
    LL

  7. It looks very summery though! Lovely view. Can't comment too much on the salad as I dont like seafood. Shame on me! By the way, I made your artichoke pasta while visiting my mum last month and it was really tasty. Thanks!!

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