Mark Bittman calls the scallop one of nature’s most perfect foods. (I know this because we’ve been cooking a lot out of his Minimalist Cooks at Home cookbook. Great recipes.) I agree with him. Who doesn’t love scallops?
That’s why we chose a seared scallop as an amuse bouche for Tott’s fancy dinner.
Kaytie really should be writing this post, since she made the stuffing, sautéed the spinach, and whipped up the delicious sauce. (All I did was stuff and sear the scallops.) But she’s taking a nap right now. You snooze, you lose, baby. Plus, I really like how the scallop in the picture looks like a monster. A delicious little monster.
(I do hope she’ll post the recipe for her beurre blanc, though. It was incredible.)
Seared Stuffed Scallops over Sauteed Spinach
(an exercise in alliteration)
Scallops: Since we served this as a quick appetizer, we only served one scallop per person. (A total of five.) If you want to serve this as an entrée, then you will, of course, need more scallops. Mark Bittman recommends 1 ½ pounds for 4 servings. You’ll probably need to double the stuffing recipe.
1 handful fresh basil leaves
1 very small garlic clove
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
juice of ¼ lemon
1 Tbs olive oil
Mince the basil, garlic, salt, and pepper together until everything is very finely chopped – almost a puree. Mix in the olive oil and lemon juice to make a paste.
To stuff the scallops, cut horizontally almost all the way through the scallops. They’ll open up like a clamshell. Spread a little dollop of the stuffing inside each scallop, and close them.
Place a large skillet over high heat for a little while. I used our trusty cast iron skillet and waited until it was smokin’ hot.
Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to the pan.
Add the scallops one at a time. Let them brown for 1 or 2 minutes. Carefully flip them over to brown the other side for another 1 or 2 minutes. These need to be served quickly, so they’re nice and hot.
While I was searing the scallops, Kaytie was sautéing spinach and making the sauce. We put a little spinach on each plate, put a scallop on that, and topped the whole thing off with beurre blanc and some capers.