Anyone else out there intimidated by cooking scallops? I really love those luscious bivalves and finally gave them a try at home. I cheated and bought frozen ones, but the cooking method is the same. The key is to start with very dry scallops and a hot pan. Once you put them down on the pan to cook, make sure you leave them alone so that they can caramelize and turn that beautiful golden color. The time it takes for a scallop to be done to over-done is in a flash, so be sure to only cook them a couple minutes on each side.
I served my scallops over a bed of sauteed CSA veggies. I made sure to cut everything about the same size and started with the potatoes so that they had a little extra time to cook. You can definitely change up the veggies here to suit your tastes– corn or bell peppers would have been an excellent addition. I used yellow tomatoes, but obviously red ones would help add a little more color to this dish. This is a quick and easy dinner that looks fancier than it is.
seared scallops with summer vegetables
1 pound sea scallops
Salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 small potatoes, diced into 1/2″ cubes
1 small zucchini, diced into 1/2″ cubes
1 small summer squash, diced into 1/2″ cubes
1-2 small tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
Handful of basil, julienned
Lemon wedges, for serving
Remove the little muscle attached to the scallops and thoroughly dry them with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Leave on a plate while preparing the vegetables. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet and heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic and cook a couple minutes until translucent. Add the potato and cook for several minutes, stirring so it doesn’t burn. When the potatoes are mostly cooked through, add the zucchini, squash, and tomato and stir to combine. Deglaze the pan with the wine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Once wine is reduced a bit, cover the pan and let the veggies cook all the way.
Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Lightly coat the pan with a layer of olive oil and add the scallops. Cook, turning once, until caramelized to a golden color, 4 to 5 minutes total or 2-3 minutes per side. Stir the basil into the cooked vegetables. Serve the scallops over a bed of vegetables with lemon wedges as a garnish.