Tomato Basil Seared Scallops

I cooked scallops for the first time last night.  I was nervous about cooking to the perfect “done-ness” but the process proved to be pretty fail proof.   This recipe was also improvised and I love how it turned out!  The tomatoes, basil, and rosemary add so much flavor but the dish isn’t drenched or submerged in a stew, allowing  you to appreciate the taste and texture of the scallops on their own.

IMG_1293Recipe after the jump! 🙂

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 6 large sea scallops
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 sprigs Italian basil
  • 4 oz. grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1 fresh rosemary twig
  • 4 oz. frozen peas
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced.
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper

Scallops are best thawed in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours before cooking.  I was in a bit of a rush but luckily, putting the scallops in a ziplock bag and summering for a few minutes in luke warm water worked out well for defrosting.

In a large saute pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Add scallops once the pan is hot.  Cook for about 3 minutes before adding in the fresh diced tomatoes. Cook another 2 minutes on medium-high heat and add frozen peas, finely chopped rosemary, and a handful of julienned basil, saving some basil for garnish.  Season with salt, pepper, and the juice of half of a small lemon.

Flip the scallops and cook for another 5 minutes, adding more olive oil if desired.

The scallops should be nicely seared and brown on both sides and they should feel firm to the touch with a bit of bounce.

Plate, shave fresh parmesan with a vegetable peeler, and garnish with more rosemary and basil.

Tip for keeping parmesan cheese – wrap in a sandwich plastic bag and again in a larger ziplock bag and store in the freezer.  I’ve been able to keep parmesan cheese for months this way.  Simply thaw for 30 minutes at room temperature before using.

I was cheap and I only used 3 scallops per plate here but the more the merrier!  You can also serve this over pasta tossed in browned butter and lemon juice for a more filling meal.

IMG_1294

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