This dish is easy and healthy, and a nice change from all of the heavy meals typically served during the holidays. It’s simply seared sea scallops on top of layers of vegetables. What could be better!! So, here’s the recipe.
Scallops and Veggies
serves 2 hearty eaters, or 4
1 medium-sized spaghetti squash, baked
1 pound sea scallops, of uniform size
2 leeks, white part only
1 large purple onion, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
Butter, for the scallops
Cayenne pepper flakes
Bake the squash using this recent recipe here. Then, after it’s cooled down, use a fork and scrape out all of the strands of spaghetti squash onto a serving platter; keep it warm.
Rinse the scallops, and place them on paper towels to dry off; set aside.
The next step is to clean the leeks. Leeks grow in soil, so they always contain dirt and silt that you need to avoid.
Slice the white ends cross-wise. Place them in a medium bowl and fill the bowl with water. Separate the rings of leeks so that any silt sinks to the bottom of the bowl. Then remove the leeks from the water and place them on paper towels to dry.
Using a large skillet or work, heat the oil over high heat, and add the red peppers and onion when it’s hot. Allow some caramelization, then reduce the heat slightly to cook the vegetables through. Add a little salt and pepper, then place them over the cooked spaghetti squash. Keep warm.
Add a couple more tablespoons of oil and using the same technique, caramelize and then cook the leeks. Add a little salt and pepper, then place the leeks over the red bell pepper and onions.
Switch to a clean, flat skillet to cook the scallops, which should be completely dry. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil, and 1 tablespoon of butter and heat over high heat. The butter will brown, which only adds flavor.
Sear half of the scallops in the oil and butter mixture, for at least one minute. Then turn them over using tongs and sear the other side. Make sure to also season them with salt and pepper, and even garlic pepper if you so desire.
Turn down the heat a little if you feel they’re not completely cook through. Place them on a plate, and continue with the remaining scallops.
When you’re ready to serve, make sure your vegetables are still warm, then top them with the scallops.
Serve from the platter, making sure every serving includes squash, peppers, onions, leeks, and scallops.
I love cayenne pepper flakes on this dish, and you can also offer Sriracha for extra spiciness!
I have also smothered the cooked scallops in chile paste before, and you could always create a sauce with a Thai curry paste for an alternative flavor profile.
But even straight forward, with salt and pepper, the scallop on the vegetables, all cooked to perfection, creates a fabulous dish!
I served this dish with an Albariño, and it was a lovely combination.
note: I could imagine this dish with also lovely sausages or grilled shrimp!