Monterey Bay Spot Prawns with Garden Zucchini Tartare and Piment d’Espelette

Recipe courtesy Cal Stamenov, chef and culinary director of all Bernardus Lodge dining venues, Carmel Valley, CA.

Set in the heart of the Central Coast’s Carmel Valley, Marinus, one of Bernardus Lodge’s restaurants, is among the region’s top culinary highlights. While Stamenov is not always a fan of oaky wines, the creamy, bright, citrus notes of this dish match bottle-fermented Chardonnays perfectly.

  • 1 yellow zucchini, brunoised
  • 1 green zucchini, brunoised
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mint, chiffonaded
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon piment d’espelette, or red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 12 large spot prawns, shelled and deveined
  • ½ cup Wondra flour
  • 6 spearmint sprigs, for garnish

To prepare the zucchini tartare and aioli
In a pan set over medium heat, sauté the zucchini in olive oil for 1 minute. Reserve and chill. When chilled, season with salt and pepper and add the mint. To make the aiol, combine the lime juice, egg yolks and piment d’espelette in a blender and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate olive oil and salt and pepper until it forms a thick consistency. Pass through a fine sieve.

To prepare the prawns
Season prawns with salt and pepper and coat lightly with Wondra flour on all sides. In a medium sauté pan set over medium-high heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, add the prawns and sear on all side until they are medium-rare. Place two prawns, a spoonful of aioli and a spoonful of zucchini tartare on each plate. Garnish each with a spearmint sprig. Serves 6.

Wine pairing
Marimar Estate’s 2009 Bonita’s Hill Chardonnay is a great match for this dish. Grown in the cool Green Valley subregion, this powerful Chardonnay was aged in 100% French oak. The wine’s racy acidity pairs with this dish’s citrusy tartness.

Published on May 18, 2012
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