In her new memoir, The Vineyard Years, wine industry pioneer Susan Sokol Blosser shares recipes and wine pairings as she reflects upon a fascinating life lived among the vines.
Throughout the book, Susan demonstrates her devotion to world class wine quality and sustainability. From the start, the Sokol Blossers were aware of the impact that farming and wine production would have on the environment. Before it was popular, the winery did everything it could to give back to the land. This passion extends to what Susan cooks in her home kitchen:
For many years, [my husband] Russ and I supported the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s spring event called “Cooking for Solutions.” The event’s dual mission was to raise funds for the aquarium as well as educate the media and the public on sustainable seafood and healthy oceans. We became advocates of the aquarium’s Seafood Watch program and made a point of supporting restaurants that used seafood that was sustainably harvested. Tiny Oregon pink shrimp—sustainably fished, abundant, versatile, and delicious—fit the program’s criteria. Cooked and ready to eat, I buy them by the pound, divide them into serving size portions, and freeze them for future use. If you don’t live in Oregon, look for bay shrimp, preferably from local waters and sourced sustainably. When my garden is overflowing with zucchini, I use the tiny shrimp in this light summer salad. You can use green, yellow, or striped zucchini for this as long as they are less than 8 inches long and up to 2 inches in diameter—any larger and the zucchini seeds become challenging to work with. Sokol Blosser Rosé of Pinot Noir is the perfect companion.
Susan Sokol Blosser’s Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Oregon Pink Shrimp, Lemon, Olive Oil, and Herbs
(Makes 4 servings)
3 fresh young zucchini, each 6 to 8 inches long, ends trimmed
¼ cup thinly sliced green onion tops
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed
1 small garlic clove, grated
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus more if needed
⅓ cup chopped pitted green olives (optional)
½ pound cooked Oregon pink shrimp or bay shrimp, rinsed and patted dry
Using a vegetable peeler, shave the zucchini lengthwise into long, paper-thin strips roughly ⅓ to ½ inch wide. Turn the zucchini as you go and press firmly to form even, ribbon-like strips. (Don’t worry if you are unable to shave the seedy cores; discard them or reserve for another use.) Alternatively, you can use a spiralizer to make long, spaghetti-like zucchini tendrils. You should have about 4 cups of zucchini strips.
In a large bowl, combine the zucchini strips and green onions. Add the dill, mint, and parsley and toss lightly.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and salt until blended. Add the lemon juice mixture to the zucchini green onion mixture and toss to coat. Taste and add a bit more lemon juice and salt to taste, if needed. (Tip: if you are adding olives, they will contribute additional saltiness.)
Divide the zucchini mixture among serving plates, top with the olives (if using) and shrimp, and serve right away.