See-Food, not Seafood!Posted: November 28, 2010
I’ll never forget the look on my boss’ face when I ordered a salad at a Maryland restaurant after my coworkers decided to drive all the way from D.C. for some world-famous Chesapeake clams.
Not only was I a vegetarian, but I’d never been one to appreciate the unique flavor of ocean critters.
While I happily subscribe to a See-Food diet (I see food and then eat it!) , the extent of my fish consumption (in my meat-eating days) was a sushi roll or a bite of calamari smothered in marinara.
Imagine, then, how confounded I was when deciding on a meal reflective of Baltimore culture for my Ravens-inspired edition of eating through the NFL. Maryland’s claim to fame is their fresh bay seafood – how is a vegetarian supposed to base a meal on lobster, clams, or crab?
Enter Skallops, a high-protein and low-fat vegan alternative to traditional scallops. I’d seen them for quite some time at Chamberlain’s, my local health food store, and have been intrigued by them for some time, but always opted instead for a less processed protein source. However, in the name of today’s recipe, I decided to give them a go as the star of a Pecorino and Parsley “Skallop” Pasta.
With a very mild, neutral flavor, the skallops didn’t give the dish an overpoweringly “seafood” taste, and they were certainly a fun way to switch up my protein sources. Extra virgin olive oil gives the meal a dose of healthy fat while tomatoes, parsley, fresh garlic, and Pecorino Romano cheese add just enough flavor to take the pasta from simple to delectable.
Pecorino and Parsley “Skallop” Pasta
Vegetarian, serves four
- 1 can (2 cups) Skallops
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup fresh cut parsley
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves fresh garlic
- 8 ounces whole wheat linguine
- 1/8 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and dice garlic. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and sautee’ the garlic until lightly golden brown.
- Cut Skallops into small, bite size pieces and add to the garlic. Stir occasionally for 8 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, parsley, and oregano to saucepan and continue to cook over low heat.
- Cook pasta; drain and pour into saucepan. Thoroughly combine all ingredients. Plate and sprinkle with Pecorino.
Although the texture of the skallops was far from that of “real” seafood, it was a delicious vegetarian way to channel the traditional foods of Baltimore.
On that note, let’s go Tampa…show those Ravens who’s boss!