Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sautéed Scallops with Summer Relish

Scallops are marine animals found in all of the world’s oceans. Closely related to clams, oysters and mussels, scallops are active swimmers and have the distinction of being the only migratory bivalves (two-shelled mollusks).

The term scallop comes from the ancient port of Ascalon which is modern day Ashkelon, Israel. The shell has become associated with Saint James the Greater, a disciple of Jesus. It is also a symbol of fertility - images of Venus, the Roman Goddess of fertility and love, are often associated with the scallop. The most well known example is Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. As a testament to its enduring appeal, in 1988 the scallop was named the official shell of New York state.

Scallops are popular in Western and Eastern cuisine. In the United States and Europe they are often sautéed (as in this recipe) or breaded and fried. In Japan scallops are served fresh in sashimi, sushi or soup. In China dried scallops, known as conpoy, are used to flavor sauces, stir fries and rice porridge.

In anticipation of summer, this recipe can provide a fresh and tangy start to your meal.

Serves 4 as an appetizer

1/2 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1/4 red bell pepper, minced
1 green onion, minced
1/8 red onion, minced
handful of cilantro, finely chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon honey
few drops of Tabasco or other spicy sauce
1 lb sea scallops (about 16)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 lemon, cut into wedges

1. In a small bowl, mix mango, pepper, onions and cilantro. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lime juice, honey and Tabasco. Pour over mango mixture. If making in advance, mix the two just before cooking the scallops.
3. Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté scallops over medium heat, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
4. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Serve topped with mango relish. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over each plate before serving.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks lovely! Will definitely try it out. I did sautéed scallops recently, lightly dusted in flour, salt, and white pepper, and sautéed with a mix of fresh wild mushrooms. Served with sparingly dressed greens.

BTW I *just* -- hours ago -- made your chive-and-cheese scones. Will post a comment there.

-- Preeta