Sea scallops are a wonderfully decadent treat, especially when crisped up in some butter and olive oil. I love ordering scallops at restaurants on a special occasion, but there’s really no reason to limit them to a restaurant experience; you can make them at home just as well and they’ll be more affordable.
The key to making delicious seafood at home is to start with good seafood, then to not overcook it. With good-quality seafood I find that it’s actually much easier than other proteins like chicken or steak to prepare. They have so much flavor on their own that a simple salsa on top is enough to make a restaurant-quality dish. If you can, buy fresh (not frozen) scallops, which will sear well. Frozen scallops will still be very tasty, but because they hold on to some water, won’t form that golden crust.
This recipe is from Eat Happy Meal Plan. Check out the whole week’s menu here. Sign up and get the other recipes along with the shopping list and weekly planner that will save you time and energy here.
Scallops with Strawberry Celery Salsa
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 25 minutes
1 lb domestic wild sea scallops, preferably fresh (fresh will sear better than frozen, but frozen will still taste great)
3 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed and cut into ½ inch dice*
2 stalks celery cut into 1/3 inch dice
2 limes, juice and 1 tsp zest reserved
1 tsp honey, raw and local is best
1 jalapeno, optional, minced (can remove seeds and ribs to reduce spiciness)
3 tablespoons butter, grass-fed is best
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper
1. Combine the strawberries, celery, juice from 1 lime, 1 tsp zest, honey, jalapeno, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss everything to combine. Add lime juice and honey to taste and set the mixture aside to macerate.
2. Melt the butter and an equal amount of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the scallops. When the butter begins to bubble add the scallops to the pan, spacing them with an inch or two between each scallop. Let the scallops cook undisturbed for about 4 minutes (cooking time is for large sea scallops, if using smaller scallops reduce the cooking time). If the scallops are fresh they should form a nice browned crust on the outside. Frozen scallops will release more moisture and are unlikely to form a crust, but they’ll still taste great.
3. Turn the scallops and cook for about 3 minutes on the other side. Scallops can be cooked medium-rare and still be a little translucent, but they shouldn’t be super jiggly or pink. It’s better to undercook them than overcook, because you can always add them back to the pan for a minute.
4. When the scallops are done squeeze a wedge of lemon into the pan, which will deglaze the pan and loosen the scallops.
5. Serve the scallops topped with the salsa and some of the pan sauce, if desired.