Alex and I rarely cook scallops. I know that is hard to believe given that we made these Moroccan-Spiced Scallops with Lentils back in March, but I think that the last time we made scallops prior to that was back in January 2011 when we made this Scallops with Cilantro Sauce and Asian Slaw. And prior to that... Well who knows when we made scallops prior to that. My problem with scallops is that I never like them as much when I cook them at home as I do when I order them at a restaurant. Esca has amazing scallops - particularly their scallop crudo with just a touch of evoo and sea salt. Amazing. But that's beside the point. Scallops aren't hard to cook at home, but they are incredibly easy to overcook. And when you overcook scallops they turn into tough little hockey pucks. No one likes eating hockey pucks. Some of our scallops were verging on hockey puck territory, but that's what happens when you have scallops of such varying sizes and aren't watching them as carefully as you should. As far as the salsa verde goes, the flavors were very fresh and clean. I thought the lemon, evoo, parsley made for a fresh bright and lovely meal. I'm still certain that I have had better scallops at restaurants, but these weren't bad at all. I definitely preferred them to the Moroccan-Spiced Scallops and Lentils.
Recipe after the jump!
Seared Scallops with Salsa Verde
Available on Serious Eats
1/3 cup coarsly chopped parsley
Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus juice to taste
1 fat clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon capers, drained, rinsed, and coarsley chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for coating the pan
1 pound scallops, dried well and seasoned with salt and pepper
In a small bowl, combine the parsley, lemon zest, garlic, capers, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Stir well to combine and taste for seasoning. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
In the meantime, coat the bottom of a heavy skillet with olive oil. Making sure the scallops are dry, carefully add them in a single layer well-spaced (too close together and they're prone to steam and not develop a good crust). Cook until golden on both sides, 2-3 minutes each side (depending on the size of the scallops and the heat you have them at, I might cook them 1-2 minutes per side instead - our scallops were fairly small we cooked ours at moderately-high heat for 1-2 minutes per side).