Monday, June 13, 2011
Spring Scallop Tacos with Strawberry Salsa
Just take a look at the delicious scallop tacos we threw together last weekend -- grilled sea scallops on a bed of fresh cucumber slaw and topped with a deliciously sweet & spicy strawberry salsa.
It was a deliciously light entree, and one of those dinners perfect for throwing together on a sweltering summer evening when it's simply too hot to turn on the stove.
It was also uncommonly delicious. The strawberry salsa, which contained scallions, lime juice, and a bit of bite from jalapeno peppers, perfectly complemented the buttery scallops, while the shredded cucumbers (which had been drained and tossed with cilantro), provided a crisp, fresh crunch.
I was particularly proud of the fact that a significant percentage of the ingredients to make this dish were both local and seasonal... with one pesky exception. The seafood.
It can be difficult being a locavore if you're a seafood lover living in Wisconsin. For, while we do have our fair share of lake-sourced fish -- including Walleye, Northern Pike, Trout, Bluegills, and Perch -- there are some items blatantly missing from the locally sourced fish list.
Sea scallops are at the very top of my list. These delicious bi-valves are meaty, clean-tasting and uncommonly sweet. Even better, in most cases scallops are a good choice when it comes to sustainable seafood. But, there is nowhere in Wisconsin to buy a locally raised scallop.
So, what's a gal to do?
For a while, as we initially made the transition to eating more local foods, I avoided eating seafood that I couldn't source from "home". But, after giving the situation a great deal more thought, we've since changed our tune.
If we have the choice between eating a locally grown apple and one imported from Washington State, we'll be most likely to opt for the local apple. Likewise, if we can find local sources for meat, dairy, and cheese, we'll be unlikely to bother with purchasing products from outside of Wisconsin. However, the fact also remains that there are highly nutritious and delicious foods that it makes sense to import because we can’t grow them here. This list includes items like bananas, pineapple, coffee, coconut, and the like. For us, it also includes seafood.
We choose to purchase scallops every now and again, and we don't feel badly about it. We choose sustainable sources and attempt to support local fish mongers whenever possible. Most of all, we make sure to take the time to enjoy the food we're eating.
I should mention that we made this dish again last night for company, and we substituted thinly sliced red cabbage for the cucumber. Also delicious -- and I really liked the additional color & crunch!
Spring Scallop Tacos