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As I was flipping through my bon appetit magazine today, I found this tasty looking scallop recipe and thought I would share. Although I don’t eat them too often, I really love scallops. These mollusks are a nice change from the typical filet of fish, and they offer a rather hearty composure. Somewhat sweet in flavor and pretty meaty in texture and mouthfeel for being such a small fella. I prefer sea scallops over bay scallops, but that’s just me. Eat what you like. 

I had left over sauce and vinaigrette, which I then added to a simple arugula salad and some crusty bread to make it a full meal. In following the recipe provided, I needed to make one or two substitutions (which I will note), but the dish still turned out superbly. Also, I prefer to have all sauces made before cooking and plating the hot items, so be sure to do the same with this recipe, as it will eliminate any stress you might encounter when putting everything together at the end…

Seared Scallops with Almond Vinaigrette
serves 2

1/4 cup roasted almonds
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. champagne or white wine vinegar 
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 large sea scallops (about 9 oz), side muscle removed
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. dried
2 Tbsp. peach preserves
Fresh herbs, baby arugula, or microgreens

Finely chop almonds into small pieces but not into a powder. Mix almonds and 4 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl. Whisk in 1 Tbsp. vinegar and chives; season vinaigrette with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired. Set aside.

I didn’t have champagne or white wine vinaigrette, so I used what I had: Honey Ginger White Balsamic. This Palmetto  company is specific to South Carolina, however, search for a specialty olive oil store in your area. Keeping a high quality olive oil and/or vinaigrette on hand is so useful. With a vinaigrette this good, there is no need for a store bought dressing – it’s all you need for a salad or a recipe such as this!


Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Add to skillet. Cook until deep golden and caramelized, 2–3 minutes. 



Turn scallops; add butter and thyme. Cook, frequently tilting skillet and spooning butter over, until scallops are deep golden and just cooked through, 2–3 minutes longer. (Basting adds extra flavor.)

A dietitian is cooking with butter?! Every once in a while, yes! Everything in moderation, right? Besides, I’ll take the real stuff over margarine any day.

Stir preserves and 1/2 tsp. water in a small bowl to loosen. For an appetizer, smear about 1/2 Tbsp. preserve mixture in center of each plate. For an entrée, smear 1 Tbsp. preserve mixture. Top with 2–4 scallops each. Drizzle some vinaigrette over. Garnish with herbs.



Again, the recipe called for peach preserves, but I used Peach Apricot. Use your creativity when it comes to substituting ingredients; you don’t always have to use exactly what the recipe calls for. It creates your own flair.
I piled a bed of arugula on top of my empty plate to make a little salad, soaking up the leftover juices…

 

I added some red onion, tomato, and basil, and a piece of crusty bakery fresh bread – all topped off with the almond vinaigrette for a nicely rounded meal.




Please, take a moment to comment: How do you like your scallops?
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