French Fridays with Dorie: Warm scallop salad with corn, nectarines and basil

Hmmmm….. we were all a little dubious of this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (Warm Scallop Salad with Corn, Nectarines and Basil, p 320-321).  I mean, all the components on their own are wonderful but together they sounded odd. But if Dorie says it will work, it generally does.  Considered “exotic” by Dorie’s French friends when served this (because of the inclusion of the corn – not a usual ingredient on the French table), this actually worked a treat, even using canned corn as I had to (no corn on the cob in the south of France right now…) and I’d love to taste it again sometime with fresh corn.

I used frozen scallops this time too simply because we’re not exactly spending every waking moment in the supermarket and I wasn’t sure when we would make this one (of course, it was last night – I seem to be flying by the seat of my pants this summer with the Doristas) and happily I was able to find some from St Brieuc (Brittany) as opposed to Peru or Argentina.

Lacking a blender or, in fact, any way of making a basil coulis, we simply incorporated the basil into the lime dressing (many thanks to my sous-chef Cathy who managed the lime zest without a zester and a very blunt knife – chapeau!) and it worked out very well.

As I served this, there were mumbles from one side of the table (Neil and Dad, I’m looking at you!) about the odd combination. Someone even claimed they didn’t really like corn. They were told to eat it anyway. And when they did, the expressions changed from dubious to pleasantly surprised. This was a really, really good dish. And even though it looks like it has tons of components it was easy to put together, even in an unfamiliar kitchen, with three cooks preparing various components of three separate dishes drinking kir and rosé (not together!). I deviated from Dorie’s suggested plating for my own plate, preferring to skin the roasted nectarine and slice it for a more elegant plating but my dinner companions didn’t seem to mind the suggested plating with a half nectarine kind of plonked on the side of the rest of the dish.

Sadly this is my final French Friday in France (at least for this summer) – but never fear, I’m excited to make the Café-style Grated Carrot Salad next week. It will be like a little piece of my holiday brought home with me 🙂

French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Go on, treat yourself – join us! I have not missed a week since October 2010 and the recipes that I didn’t like I can count on one hand.

French Friday links:

Wishing you could have joined me in France this summer? How about “Un après midi à Paris” – a new class I will be teaching at Aphrodite Cooks this coming October? Join me for a sweet afternoon learning the secrets to some classic French desserts: the elusive macaron, profiteroles, tarte au citron, madeleines and mendiants. We’ll be making “petit four” sizes of each in a hands on class and participants will leave with a box of the class’s creations. After the class you will receive recipes to help you recreate your Parisian treats at home. Refreshments of tea and coffee and infused waters enjoyed throughout the afternoon. Click to book your spot for this exciting new class on Saturday October 13th 2012.

I’m also thrilled to be teaching my first macaron class at Aphrodite Cooks in November – Macarons: Simple comme Bonjour! “Simple comme bonjour” means “as easy as A, B, C” and really, macarons are not as difficult as everyone makes them out to be. Spend the afternoon in a hands-on class, learning the secrets of this temperamental, yet exquisite French delicacy – you’ll leave with some of your creations and a new found confidence (and recipes!) to tackle the cookie with the bad reputation all by yourself at home! Refreshments and snacks will be served. Click to book your spot in this new macaron class on Saturday November 3rd 2012.

Read my latest articles on Food Network Canada: Spotlight on Paris markets, Seven must-visit destinations in Burgundy and Eating, drinking and learning at Ô Chateau, Paris.

Follow my French travels on Flickr this summer with my Summer 2012 set of photos – updated regularly!


35 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie: Warm scallop salad with corn, nectarines and basil”

  1. I love it when a few simple ingredients combine into something magical. This looks delicious. Best wishes for your trip home. France will be waiting for you next summer 🙂

  2. I think I would trade fresh corn for some time in Southern France 😉
    Beautifully done – I like seeing how everyone interpreted this week’s dish. The plating felt a bit mysterious to me…

  3. I think we all wondered about the plating! This one could have used a picture! I feel your sadness…the last French Friday in Paris. It has a ring to it:)

  4. I’ve been terribly absent from FFWD but if the stars align appropriately for me today, this might be dinner and my Saturday edition will return tomorrow.

    No corn in southern France but oh the rosé makes up for it, doesn’t it?!!!

    Enjoy your last days and have a safe flight back home!

  5. If I was in France for the summer, I’ll just be honest with you and say that this dish (or any other FFWD assignments) wouldn’t have made it into a post because I would be having a ball and forget about blogging altogether. And that’s why I admire you for still making the effort to put this together beautifully, and in an unfamiliar kitchen at that! Great job as always, Mardi :).

  6. OK, so, over the years, I’ve really grown to dislike corn… corn on the cob, corn however. And, so when Mardi and Cathy dished this up, my heart sank (well, not really but I thought I might have to pick my way around the dish carefully). In reality, it tasted really good and the texture of the corn was different from what I had expected. No complaints, in fact, praise to the three cooks for a terrific outcome.

  7. I am more sad for me than even for you that you are heading for home, your French holiday over. I have enjoyed living it through you while I’ve been tending to rather sad business affairs here in Nevada’s 113-degree heat (yes, a little sympathy and “poor Mary” is appropriate here). It seems to me that you’ve rung every moment and memory and learning experience out of your trip to France and will have stories to tell in the days ahead. That you’ve been able to cobble together such delicious FFWD Posts in makeshift conditions during this trip is a lesson in itself, to all of us. Point well made and taken. And, you probably didn’t even intend to do that. Welcome back to North America, Mardi.

  8. I always find that trying to cook in a a kitchen which is not my own is quite a challenge. Do other kitchens EVER have sharp knives? I’ve never found any. But I guess if it has to be a strange kitchen, it could at least be in South France. Hope that you enjoyed your time.

  9. I am still super impressed that you’re making these recipes while on a trip! Way to go Mardi! Your salad looks beautiful and I really love that plate in the first pic. Welcome back to this side of the pond! 🙂

  10. I agree this was easy to make even with all the components. It was a plateful of summer. Definitely try it with fresh corn when you are back home.


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