The furry forecasters of Groundhog Day have indicated that winter is here to stay. It pains me to say that we’re in for at least another six weeks of cold-weather misery. So in my protest to last night’s snowstorm, I’m making the complete opposite of the hearty stews and carb-heavy meals of winter. Let’s fast forward a few months and imagine that it’s April because this recipe is the epitome of spring. There’s nothing like fresh seafood for dinner when it’s warm outside, and this plate represents all of the good things about the spring months.
I’m a huge fan of scallops for their no fuss cooking. They cook in almost no time at all and easily take on other flavours. But the key with scallops is getting a great sear because we all know that searing = flavour. While they normally don’t need much fancying-up, this butter topping will elevate the dish just that much more. And tastes amazing. Serve with a few pieces of gnocchi and shelled edamame beans and you’ve got yourself one restaurant-quality dish. Serve as an appetizer or light dinner.
- 12 fresh scallops (or thawed frozen)
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/4 Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped sundried tomatoes
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp each of garlic, red onion, and fresh flat leaf parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- 3/4 cup gnocchi
- ½ cup edamame beans, cooked and shelled
- Fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- Olive oil for garnish
- Blend together butter, sundried tomatoes, lemon juice, smoked paprika, garlic, shallots, and parsley. Stir in Panko. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place butter mixture between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out into ½ cm thickness. Use a shot glass cut out small circles. Freeze until firm and ready to use.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add gnocchi and cook until they’ve risen to the surface. Remove using a slotted spoon and directly add to a heated pan. Add a splash of the cooking water to the pan and swirl to coat the gnocchi. Gently stir in edamame beans. Season with salt and pepper.
- Set oven on a high broil. Pat dry scallops with paper towel. Season with fresh ground pepper (see note). Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in an oven proof skillet and sear scallops on medium-high heat until for 1 minute per side. Do not overcrowd the skillet otherwise you won’t get a good sear. Place a butter coin on top of each scallop. Broil on high for 2 minutes until nicely browned.
- Serve the scallops with gnocchi and edamame beans. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
- Most commercially farmed scallops are soaked in a salt solution and are therefore already salty.