I recently drove up the Pacific coast to the world-class Paso Robles winery region. The first night I visited the Sensorio light exhibit, where tens of thousands of stemmed spheres lit up the night creating an incredible landscape. It really is a can’t-miss experience. I also had the opportunity to visit several wineries and enjoy lunch paired with their wines. Niner and Daou were my favorites.
Daou winery is up on a hill overlooking the Paso Robles mountains and is quite spectacular. We enjoyed many of their wines along with a luscious lunch of their chef’s specialties. One of the dishes that we discussed was a seafood saute with tomatoes and their rose wine. I wanted to recreate it when I returned home.
This shrimp dish pays homage to the best of summers’ produce. Quickly sauteed shrimp are mixed with tomatoes, corn, fresh basil and my favorite summer wine, rose. This is one of those dishes that takes just a few minutes to put together and yields huge flavor with little effort required.
Look for large shrimp that have been deveined and tails removed. Make sure to dry the shrimp carefully before sauteing so that they can brown properly. Colorful cherry tomatoes and freshly shucked corn add big flavor. Black olives add a salty finish while fresh basil adds that “taste of summer.”
Rose wine adds just the right amount of acid to complement the flavors. The butter is needed at the end of cooking to round out all the flavors. Serve this in shallow white bowls on its own or spooned over pasta or polenta. If you are serving this by itself, make sure to have some crusty bread to accompany. What to drink? A dry rose of course. If you, can, try the Daou rose.
SUMMER SEAFOOD SAUTE
4 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/4-pound fresh large shrimp, peeled and tails removed
Pinch of red chili flakes
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups colorful cherry tomatoes, halved if large
2 ears corn, husked and shucked, yields about 1 cup
1/4 cup basil plus 1 tablespoon, finely chopped
1 cup rose wine
1/2 cup pitted black olives (Kalamata preferred)
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pat seafood dry with paper towels. Add seafood in one even layer. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes. (You can make this as mild or as spicy as you like.)
Turn the seafood with tongs once shrimp starts to turn pink and cook another minute or until scallops are just cooked through and are opaque. Put seafood into a side bowl. Add remaining tablespoon oil and then add the garlic and saute another minute or until it is aromatic. Add tomatoes, corn, basil and wine. Bring to medium-high.
Simmer for 2 minutes or until reduced by half; add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and stir until melted and a sauce is formed. Add the reserved seafood and olives to the pan and heat through, about 2 more minutes. Serve in individual shallow bowls, garnished with reserved chopped basil, on its own or over pasta or polenta immediately.