When you have very fresh sea scallops, their sweet, succulent taste doesn't need a rich sauce.
The trick to keeping scallops moist is to sauté them quickly over high heat. Coating them with arrowroot helps form a delectable crisp, brown crust. Remove the scallops from the heat just before they're done, because once off the heat they continue cooking for a minute or two.
The original recipe is simple and elegant, with just salt, pepper and olive oil bringing out the natural sweetness of the scallops. If you’re in the mood to stir things up a bit, try Chef Sarah’s Special Spice Mix; developed by our own Chef Sarah LaCasse, it’s an easy way to add fabulous flavor to this delightful dish.
Whichever seasonings you choose, nestle the scallops in a bed of garlicky sautéed greens for a quick and memorable dinner. Or try them as a starter course with a garnish of string beans and lemon slices.
And whenever you serve seafood, use the Seafood Watch Guides from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to make the best choices — for your table and for our oceans.
From Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook by Myra Goodman
To cook the greens: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the baby greens (if all the leaves don't fit into your skillet at first, add more by the handful as they wilt) and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon water. Turn the spinach with tongs until all the leaves are wilted and the garlic is evenly distributed. Season the spinach with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the greens into the center of a serving platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm while you cook the scallops.
To cook the scallops: If there is a tough white muscle on the side of any of the scallops, trim it off using a paring knife and discard it. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels.
*To follow the original seasoning recipe, place the arrowroot, salt and some pepper in a shallow bowl and whisk to blend. Dredge the scallops in the seasoning mixture, shaking off the excess.
*To use Chef Sarah's Special Spice Mix, place all of the special spice mix ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly. (You will have plenty of spice mix left over; store in a cupboard at room temperature, sealed tightly, for up to 1 month. It's fabulous on just about any grilled or seared seafood!) In a separate shallow bowl, add about 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture (or more to taste) to the arrowroot instead of the salt and pepper; place in a shallow bowl with the arrowroot and whisk to combine. Dredge the scallops in the spice mixture, shaking off the excess.
Pour just enough olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet to thinly coat the bottom. heat the oil over medium heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the dredged scallops in a single layer, working in batches if needed.
Cook the scallops until a brown crust forms on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the scallops with tongs and cook until lightly seared on the other side, about 30 seconds. Immediately transfer the scallops to the platter of greens, arranging them with their crusty sides up, and serve immediately with lemon slices alongside.
Per serving, original recipe: Calories 230, Fat 9 grams, Cholesterol 35 mg, Sodium 820 mg, Carbohydrates 13 grams, Fiber 5 grams, Sugars 1 gram, Protein 25 grams. Percentage Daily Values per serving (based on a 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A 230%, Vitamin C 160%, Calcium 30%, Iron 40%, Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 15%, Vitamin B6 20%, Folate 45%, Magnesium 30%, Potassium 33%, Zinc 10%.
Per serving, with Chef Sarah's Special Spice Mix: Calories 230, Fat 9 grams, Cholesterol 35 mg, Sodium 800 mg, Carbohydrates 14 grams, Fiber 5 grams, Sugars 1 gram, Protein 25 grams. Percentage Daily Values per serving (based on a 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A 240%, Vitamin C 160%, Calcium 30%, Iron 40%, Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 15%, Vitamin B6 20%, Folate 45%, Magnesium 30%, Potassium 33%, Zinc 10%.