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.
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.