Sunday, October 01, 2006

Scallops and Heirloom Tomatoes

Copyright 2006 by Cooking With The Single Guy


6 scallops
2-3 heirloom tomatoes (get a variety of colors)
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 t sugar
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon
salt and pepper

Combine balsamic vinegar, sugar, olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt in small bowl and mix well. Dice tomatoes and toss lightly in dressing. Stack tomatoes on two small plates. (If you have an old tuna can, take off the top and bottom and use the remaining cylinder as a mold to create a bed of diced tomatoes on your plate.)

Salt and pepper both sides of scallops. Drizzle some olive oil onto a hot, non-stick saute pan over high heat. Add scallops and sear for two minutes on each side until opaque, turning heat down to medium high if necessary. As an added twist, squeeze half a lemon over the scallops right before they’re done. (You can also add a tablespoon of butter near the end to give your scallops an extra brown color.) Place three scallops on top of each plate and serve.

Makes two servings. Perfect as an appetizer or starter salad. If you’d like to make it a meal for one, add blanched and lightly cooked fava beans with the tomatoes for protein.

Pair with a crisp Pinot Grigio.

TIPS: In this recipe you use olive oil in two ways: as a dressing and as a medium to cook the scallops. Extra virgin olive oil is very healthy and is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. It contains more of the good cholesterol than the bad, which can be found in saturated fat. But when cooking with olive oil, use a generic, basic extra virgin olive oil you get at your grocery store. The heat from cooking burns off any nice taste you’d get from your good oil so it really doesn’t matter what brand of oil you’re cooking with. For dressing, use your best olive oil because you can really appreciate any flavors from the oil.

SHOPPING FOR ONE: You can buy fresh scallops from your local fishmonger or in the fish section of your grocery store. But I always feel odd buying 2 or 3 pieces, even though that’s all I really need for a starter or salad for myself. So I buy at least half a dozen and then freeze whatever I don’t use for future meals.

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