This is a healthful, one-dish dinner that will surely become a summer favorite.
This recipe has been adapted from The Herbal Kitchen, Cooking with Fragrance & Flavor, by Jerry Traunfeld. The author advises when purchasing scallops, ask if they’re dry pack, which means they’re not treated with chemicals that make them absorb water.
The following recipe makes 4 servings.
- 11⁄2 lbs. large sea scallops (dry pack)
- kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1⁄2 large onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded & diced
- kernels from 2 ears sweet corn
- 1 cup beans, such as shelled lima beans or edamame (frozen are fine, but blanched fresh if you can get them)
- 2 Tbsp. dry white wine or vermouth
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1⁄2 cucumber, seeded, diced (unpeeled if not
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, or to taste
- 1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped basil, or to taste
- salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pull off the small white piece of muscle that is attached to the side of the scallops (some might not have it). Pat them dry on paper towels and season them lightly with kosher salt.
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. When the pan is very hot, use tongs to lower in each scallop, flat side down. Cook, without shaking or moving the scallops, until the undersides are a deep brown color. Flip them and brown the other side (if they stick, loosen them with the edge of a sharp metal spatula). Put the scallops on a warm platter or plate, and cover loosely with foil while you prepare the succotash in the same skillet.
- Lower the heat to medium. Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan, and stir until they soften, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the corn, lima beans or edamame, wine or vermouth, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring from time to time, until about half of the liquid boils away and the vegetables are nearly cooked through. Add the cucumber and cook another minute to heat it through. Stir in the butter until it melts, then the cilantro and basil. Tip any juices that collected under the scallops into the succotash. Taste the succotash, and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Spoon the succotash onto warmed dinner plates. Arrange the scallops over the top, garnish with more cilantro or basil, then serve.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Mike Newman